A terminally-ill cancer patient has rolled up her sleeves and built her own dream home from scratch.
Jane Thorpe was undergoing gruelling treatment for breast cancer when she began building the home she’d dreamed of as a child.
And now, the 38-year-old has settled down to enjoy life with her Labrador companion Tia, aged eight.
Jane, an IT worker, said: “I’ve always wanted to build my own house. My dad was a builder and I grew up in a house he built for us.
“When I got the first diagnosis I decided to go ahead and bought this old, 1960s, ugly bungalow. It was an eyesore.”
Jane bought the house in Ulley, near Rotherham, in 2012. But she got a devastating blow when the cancer returned the following year – and she was told it was incurable.
Jane said: “They gave me three to five years, but I’m hoping for ten.
“It was devastating at first, but I’ve got on with it. A day spent sat around crying and feeling sorry for yourself is a waste of a day.
“Then I was told last summer I would need chemo, so I thought, ‘Right, this house needs to get finished.’”
Jane had her treatment at Weston Park hospital in Sheffield.
Since her diagnosis, she has bulldozed the bungalow and sought the help of family and friends to build new walls.
She has also fitted windows, doors, roof trusses and laid flooring, while a friend helped her install a drainage system.
She said: “When I was first diagnosed, I got a health insurance payout. I thought, ‘Why the hell not’, so put it towards buying the house.
“The planning permission was a bit of a nightmare, but we got it sorted and started building the house in April last year.”
The five-bedroom home is now more or less complete.
Jane says she loves to sit and watch the birds in her garden while listening to Tia snoring.
“It’s a very peaceful home,” she said.
“I’ve put a lot of care and passion into building it. It was fun but also a distraction and gave me something new to talk about. When you’ve got cancer it’s the last thing you want to talk about.”
Jane moved into the house in December and has since been adding the finishing touches.
She said: “I’m incredibly proud of what I’ve achieved, but the support from my family and friends has been incredible. I couldn’t have done it without them.”