Published: 00:00, 07 June 2014 |
Updated: 14:23, 07 June 2014
The 74-year-old, of Upper Fant Road, Maidstone, was diagnosed with prostate cancer two years ago thanks to the nose of Eima, his now deceased German Shepherd.
Mr Berriman, who has lived in Maidstone for 10 years, was completely unaware he had the condition but became worried after his dog started continually sniffing his pelvis.
When tests revealed his prostate was riddled with cancer intensive treatment followed.
He went into remisssion but there was more bad news – he had incurable leukaemia. The condition has forced him to spend the last two years living downstairs, with his lounge becoming a makeshift bedroom.
Some renovations have been made to the property, a wood burner has been fitted in place of a gas fire and the room has been skimmed. But the job remains incomplete.
However, that is about to change thanks to students at MidKent College, who are giving up their time to wallpaper his walls and repaint the ceiling.
Mr Berriman said: “I don’t know how long I’ve got and to be honest I don’t want to know.
“I’ve asked the doctors not to tell me because if I knew it would be like being on death row.
“I try to do as much as I can, it’s important to keep busy, but the disease often leaves me out of breath and feeling cold.
“It’s nice of the college to offer to do this. I would never ask for it myself, I don’t claim any benefits.
“A nurse at the Vine Medical Centre suggested I should ask for support and helped me fill out some forms.
“I suppose it’s good for both of us – the students get on-the-job experience and my life gets more comfortable. I really can’t thank them enough.”
The renovation was been organised by Macmillan Volunteers West Kent.
Don't miss out, subscribe today. Keep up to date with our newsletters.
A guide for your future. For year 11 students in Kent and Medway. Click here for the e-edition.
Education, Training & Childcare is a special supplement published by KM Media Group four times a year. Click here for latest e-edition.
Get the latest food and drink news, recipes from some of the nation's top chefs plus updates from Kent's vineyards and breweries.
Search in your local area to find your perfect partner in Kent, with FreshStart Dating! PLUS, register for free!.
Find out what's going on in the garden, with Kent expert Lucy Hewett's weekly update.
Buy pictures that you've seen in a KM newspaper, or send in a picture and we will place it on our photo sales website so that you can purchase a super, unique gift.