Cancer beating tiler crowned Sunshine Coast’s hottest tradie

Paul Eyers
By Paul Eyers
4 Min Read

After months of battling cancer, a Sunshine Coast tiler has emerged victorious as the region’s hottest tradie.

Tiler Wade Kelly beat over 200 tradie hunks to be crowned the Sunshine Coast’s sexiest after pals entered him into the competition as a prank.

The 32-year-old was declared the winner last week after a nail-biting final round, which went down to the wire, receiving 37 per cent of the final vote.

Wade told Build-it his mates had kept the stitch-up top secret until his phone started “ringing off the hook” once he had made the contest’s final three.

“A friend saw the competition online and made a group chat to get the boys all in on it – they thought it was hilarious,” he said.

“They started sending hundreds of topless photos of me in, and then all of a sudden, the daily’s are ringing me saying I’ve made some hottest tradie final three.”

Wade says he took the win with a grain of salt and hoped people “got a few laughs” from the contest – even the online trolls who had compared him to a bikie or questioned the competition’s quality.

“There are comments on the Sunshine Coast community board where everyone was trashing me, saying I look like a bikie or there must have been no other options,” he told Build-it.

“People can make a mockery, but I don’t care. Life is too short, and it’s all a bit of fun at the end of the day.”

Wade’s easygoing attitude comes as a result of an even more significant victory – beating stomach and testicular cancer in 2022.

A notorious workaholic running his tiling business ‘We Lay Tiles’, Wade says his cancer battle was a fight that completely changed his outlook on life.

The motocross enthusiast was forced into emergency surgery to have two 10cm tumours removed before undergoing months of chemotherapy, causing him to lose his hair and more than 20kg in body weight before being given the all-clear.

“One of my nuts and my stomach blew up. It was the size of a tennis ball,” he told Build-it.

“Initially, I just carried on working for three months until I eventually collapsed at a party and days later was on an operating table.”

“It was rough as hell. It made me realise life’s too short,” he told Build-it.

“I’ve pulled back a bit on my work and tried to make others happy where I can.”

Wade said his cancer fight taught him to embrace what life brings, such as winning Sunshine Coast’s Hottest Tradie, and he is open to new opportunities.

The Sunshine Coast stud was recently interviewed on Channel Nine’s breakfast show TODAY with Karl Stefanovic.

“I had never met Kyle. He seems like an absolute legend, so I thought, why not,” he said.

“I am open to anything, any shows or reality TV.”

I would definitely love to go on The Block next year.”

But Mr Wade says the win hasn’t been without its downsides, with multiple fake social media accounts looking to scam followers appearing on Instagram claiming to be the tattooed tiler.

“I am only on Facebook, so if anyone wants to follow me, they can find me there,” he said.

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Paul Eyers has worked as a journalist for a range of media publishers including News Corp and Network Ten. He has also worked outside of Australia, including time spent with ABS-CBN in the Philippines. Stepping away from the media, Paul spent five years sharpening his tools in construction - building his skill set and expertise within the trade industry. His diverse experiences and unique journey have equipped him with an insider view of Australia’s construction game to dig deep into the big stories.