Friends give Rochester man with ALS the perfect home


ROCHESTER, NY – (WROC) – A community is coming together to make sure a Rochester man diagnosed with ALS remains with his family.

“The last thing in the world I didn’t want to do was to move out of the house,” said Michael Wheeler.

Wheeler was diagnosed with ALS also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease last year. It’s a neurological disease that weakens the muscles.

“First my hands went,” said Wheeler. “Then my arms. My legs are pretty much gone. Now my breathing and talking.”

Losing the ability to control his body made it hard for Wheeler to stay in his home. This is where his band of brothers stepped in.

“Just to try to help out Mike as much as possible and keep him in his own home,” said Barry Amorese, one of Wheeler’s friends.

“With ALS I can’t walk up and down stairs,” said Wheeler. “So they built a bathroom and a hallway with a handicap ramp off the back of my house.

Wheeler’s home in Rochester, New York.

The group of men who are contractors by trade are doing the work at no cost. Now Wheeler can stay home with his wife and son.

“We just love him dearly,” said Amorese. “We wish him the best and we re with him every step of the way.”

“It makes me feel like I am the luckiest man on the planet,” said Wheeler.

Wheeler says he remembers the day his doctor told him he had ALS. He says that’s the day he decided to take his wife to her favorite spot in Maine to renew their vows.

This Sunday there will be a kickoff party to launch a month long fundraiser campaign. Money from the “Wheels Up” will help with the cost of remodeling Wheeler’s home.

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