Family of cancer patient to get help with home

GLOVERSVILLE – Mike Harrison, Teresa Mason and their children have experienced a roller-coaster of emotions the last two years, dealing with his stomach cancer diagnosis and her father’s death.

This summer, they received some good news. A local business, A. Johnson Plumbing & Heating, is giving their home an “energy makeover.”

“We’re thrilled,” Mason said “I never imagined this in a million years. I’ve never won anything.”

The family home at 60 W. Pine St. will soon be invaded, in a good way, by an army of A. Johnson volunteers. Employees will be giving their time and equipment to make energy upgrades to the home. The home will receive work such as a new heating system, new duct work, attic insulation, wall insulation, air sealing, ventilation, efficient lighting, and new water heating.

“They’re a great family to help,” said company co-owner Anthony Johnson.

A. Johnson Plumbing & Heating this year started the “Home Energy Makeover.” The company sought a local family that could use help from the business volunteering its time and equipment to make home energy upgrades.

Teresa’s mother, Margaret, submitted the family’s household makeover nomination to the business.

The Harrison-Mason home was selected from among 70 nominations for home makeovers.

“It’s certainly just one of the most touching stories,” A. Johnson spokeswoman Alyssa Johnson said.

According to information from the nomination, Harrison, a roofer, surprised Mason with the 2013 purchase of their first home after the death of her father in 2012. The home needed remodeling and renovation. But home improvements quickly stopped in December when Harrison was diagnosed with stage four adenocarcinoma, which is a form of stomach cancer.

Doctors treated Harrison with chemotherapy, but his health has declined even further. The family converted a downstairs room into Harrison’s bedroom because he’s no longer able to climb stairs.

A. Johnson said with Mason working full-time at one of Lexington Center’s group homes, Harrison’s physical abilities limited, and their children – 7-year daughter Abby, and a set of 5-year-old twins, Austin and Alison – at school, additional work at the home has been difficult for the family to finish.

A news release issued by the company said: “In our promise to help out a local family, A. Johnson’s main priority in fixing Michael and Teresa’s home is the heating system and duct work. There will be replacement of the heating system, extending the ductwork through the entire upstairs and replacing any existing ductwork to make sure it is properly installed and up to code. Also, A. Johnson will be providing the home with wall and attic insulation, air sealing, electrical repairs and some sheetrock work to help finish the downstairs and possibly progress into the upstairs.”

Alyssa Johnson said the family plumbing and heating company is hoping to get started on its work at the home by the end of August.

Anthony Johnson wouldn’t say how much the work will cost, but noted his company does projects that range from $7,000 to $50,000.

Johnson said the house needs more work than his company can even give. He challenged other contractors to donate work, such as electrical and wallboard work.

The company said people can like its Facebook page to stay current with updates and photos of the home makeover.