Oasis of joy at a tough time
As published in the Brimbank Leader on Tues, December 15th 2015
BACKYARD DELIGHTS FAMILY
A BIG-HEARTED business wants to build a beautiful backyard for a Taylors Lakes family who are facing a battle with brain cancer. Last year, mother-of-three Lisa Knabe underwent surgery to remove a tumour the size of a fist from her brain. Husband Ben said she was still undergoing medical tests and treatment.
Mr Knabe said across the past months, their family, friends and employers had been incredibly supportive, but looking after his daughters and wife had left little time to tend the garden. So he contacted Jack Engel from XScape Landscaping Design & Construction, based in Taylors Lakes and Essendon, to get a quote. But Mr Engel said the project would have cost more than $20,000, far beyond the family’s financial reach.
Where many other businesses might have walked away, Mr Engel and his landscape designer Kerri Mewett instead generously decided to help give the family their dream backyard by reducing costs to within their budget.
“They seemed like a really nice family who are going through a tough time, and we all wanted to help them out if we could,” Mr Engel said. Mr Engel said his uncle died of leukaemia and his best mate’s father – who was like a dad to him – died of lung cancer, so he understood the Knabes’ plight. Mr Engel and his partner at Xscape, Chris O’Connell, have been in the business for a combined 28 years, but this is their first not-for-profit project. Ms Mewett will provide her design services free, supply plants wholesale and organise volunteers to help with the garden beds. Mr Engel has also contacted suppliers to see if they can donate or supply discounted materials. So far, Pave World, Frank Z, The Green Centre, Bunnings Taylors Lakes, Formboss, Mcdonald’s Taylors Lakes, CorroSteel Industries and HG Turf have committed their support. Mr Engel said he wanted to start work on the Knabes’ new backyard, complete with a dry riverbed, bridge, gardens, lawn, vegetable gardens and paved area next month. Mr Knabe said he could not believe so many people wanted to help his family and his daughters were excitedly looked forward to having a yard to play in.
“I often teach our kids to help and respect others and we have on many occasions, so this is really fantastic,” he