Father’s colleagues work 3,300 hours overtime so he can look after his cancer-stricken son

Andy Wells
Freelance Writer
Andreas Graf had to use all his annual leave to care for his son Julius (CEN)

Colleagues of a man who had to take up all his annual leave so he could care for his sick son have selflessly donated their overtime on his behalf.

Julius Graf was just three years old when he was diagnosed with leukaemia and his treatment kept him in a hospital bed for the first nine weeks.

He was about to return to the family home in Fronhausen, Germany, when his mother died of heart disease.

Mr Graf’s colleagues worked donated their overtime so Mr Graf could take paid leave (CEN)

His father, Andreas, ended up having to take all his annual leave from his job as an assembly worker with a design company in the nearby town of Marburg to be with his son.

Mr Graf, struggling to cope with his son’s illness and the death of his wife, was afraid of losing his job until HR manager Pia Meier stepped in to help out.

She sent out an appeal to Mr Graf’s employees to donate their overtime – and all of the company’s 650 workers immediately signed up – even those who had never met him.

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Within two weeks of the appeal, they had raised a total of 3,264.5 hours, which the company allowed Mr Graf to take as paid leave, bringing tears to his face.

He said of the gesture: ‘Without this tremendous help, I would’ve been out of a job by now.’

Ms Meier said she had also been overwhelmed by the response, adding: ‘There isn’t a single person who hasn’t donated.’

Julius is now feeling well enough to go back home (CEN)

Thanks to the generosity of his colleagues, Mr Graf was able take more than a year off to take care of his son.

After chemotherapy, Julius, who turned five at the end of February, is now feeling well enough to be released home and hopes to return to nursery soon.

Mr Graf says he will be eternally grateful to his colleagues and the company and now wants to look positively into the future with his son.