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Michelle Martyn of Peru suffers from breast cancer and was without a furnace for the last couple of years. She applied to Cops 4 Cancer who contacted Town and Country to assist in getting her a new boiler. NewsTribune photos/Alicia LeGrand-Riniker
A local family gets the gift of heat just in time for the holiday season.
Jason Twardowski, from Town and Country Services, Tonica, said Mondays are usually considered a bad part of the work week, but this Monday was extra special for him because he was able to help install a free boiler for a family in need.
“It feels good to help out somebody who really needs it,” he said.
Michelle Martyn, 47, of Peru is a single mother of a teenage boy and currently seeking treatment for breast cancer. Martyn had Hodgkin’s lymphoma 18 years ago and was treated and cured. In June, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. The radiation they used for Hodgkin’s and the area they radiate is prone to come back as breast cancer, Martyn said.
Currently, she is seeking chemotherapy for her cancer and she said it is looking good.
“They caught it early,” she said.
Money and time have been limited for the single mother and when the furnace went out a few years ago, Martyn decided to use space heaters to keep her home warm. She constantly worried about the temperature of the house. She would turn on the heater in the bathroom several minutes before taking a shower to make sure the room would be warm enough.
After being diagnosed with cancer this summer, she decided to fill out an assistance form from Cops 4 Cancer and explained her need for a new boiler.
Betty Glynn, a breast cancer survivor and board member for Cops 4 Cancer, contacted Town and Country, seeking a quote for the new unit. She said the business had people out to inspect the old boiler within 30 minutes of the call. They soon told Glynn they would donate the new system and labor.
“I was just so taken back and emotional,” Glynn said. “I didn’t know how else to raise the cash to buy this for the family.”
She added that times have been difficult for the family and was grateful that Town and Country stepped up to assist them.
“That to me spoke huge volumes about their business,” she said.
Glynn said she has gotten a huge response from the community to help the Martyn family. She added that their car still needed repairs.
She said it is nice to know Martyn and her son will be warm this winter.
“And that’s what we do it for,” she said.
“We felt like it was the right thing to do,” said Luke Weiden of Town and Country. “It was an emergency situation.”
Weiden said space heaters can be dangerous and in honor of the season, Cops 4 Cancer and The Lady Cavs volleyball team heading to state, which recently held a breast cancer fundraiser, the business decided to support its local community and donate the boiler.
Every year the company usually gives one furnace in the spirit of the holiday season, Weiden said; but this year the business will give three. Registration to win the furnaces has ended and names of winners will be announced over the next few weeks.
“I mean that is just wonderful. They are just wonderful people out there at Town and Country; and Cops 4 Cancer does so much good work for people,” Martyn said.
At 8 a.m. Monday, Twardowski and his partner Mike Goskusky arrived at the Martyn home to install the boiler. Twardowski said a boiler install can take a half a day to a full day to install, depending on the difficulty of the project. Besides removing the old boiler and installing the new one, the men also need to make sure the fluid, electric and gas lines are all hooked up properly.
“You take the extra time just to do it right,” Goskusky said.
Both men were happy to be helping on the job and giving the family heat for the approaching winter.
“It’s just overwhelming,” Martyn said. “You don’t expect people to do that for someone. There are people out there who do care and a lot of angels out there that do help.”
She added that more people should donate to Cops 4 Cancer because of all the work they do in the community.