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Volunteers tackle home improvement projects for families affected by Multiple Sclerosis

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Albany/HV: Volunteers tackle home improvement projects for families affected by Multiple Sclerosis
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Saturday, teams of volunteers tackled home improvement projects for nearly forty families across upstate New York. It was part of Multiple Sclerosis Service Day. The annual event is aimed at making the tasks easier for those affected by the disease. Our Beth Croughan has more on how MS has changed the lives of one local family.

GANSEVOORT, N.Y. -- Timothy Brimmer spent years in the construction industry. He said he worked as an inspector and a carpenter. But since being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2007, he said he finds he doesn't have the strength to do some of the work he used to.

"It slowly takes a bit of you every day. So, it's not easy," said Brimmer of the disease.

Multiple sclerosis is a disease that attacks the central nervous system. Brimmer said he's lost muscle strength in his arms and his legs.

The disease, and the cost of it, have made home improvement projects difficult. The family of five hasn't used their back porch since moving in nine years ago.

"Sit out and enjoy it for once, as my wife had said," Brimmer said of what he wants to do on his deck. "We were going along fine until I was diagnosed with this some years back," he added.

On Saturday, a group of union carpenters came to his family's home in Gansevoort to lend a few hands. It was part of MS Service Day sponsored by the Upstate New York Chapter of the National MS Society.

"MS Service day is basically a mini version of Make A Wish meets Extreme House Makeover. And what it is, across upstate New York we do one day a year where we gather volunteers," explained the Chapter's Advocacy Manager, Emilie Higgins.

The volunteers raked leaves, trimmed trees and helped build a safe and secure deck.
It's a project that will help the Brimmer family continue to build the strength they need to fight this disease.

"We just need family time together and a deck will keep us outdoors, keep us together. We can invite folks over and just be grateful to have each other. I've said it so many times and we tell the kids a lot, that we don't have much, but together we have everything," said Timothy's wife, Amy.

The MS Society serves about 13,000 people across upstate New York.

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