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Volunteers Give North Philly Cancer Patient A Home Makeover

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Inside the 3400 block of North Front Street in North Philadelphia, crews worked.

"He's been pretty depressed lately so stuff like this is what we need to keep him going because the fighter that he was, he's not there anymore," said Ashley Ortiz.

Ortiz's father, 51-year-old Angelo Lewis Ortiz Jr., was diagnosed in December with metastatic pancreatic cancer.

"It's touch and go, touch and go. One day he's fine, and the next day he's down and out," explained Vincent Ortiz who is Angelo Ortiz's son.

What started as a procedure check for kidney stones led to a CT scan that revealed tumors on his pancreas. The Olney High School safety officer had to stop working which meant for the first time in 30 years, the father of four and grandfather of four could no longer repair his own home.

"We need something to uplift him so we got the walls painted, a few door replacements and stuff like that," expressed Ashley Ortiz.

Michael Rowe and volunteers from his nonprofit Legacy of Hope teamed up with the community organization Live Life Nice and Wells Fargo Bank to work on Ortiz's house.

Angelo Lewis Ortiz family
Credit: CBS3

Using FaceTime, Rowe gave Angelo Ortiz a tour of his renovated home and introduced him to the volunteers. From his bedside at Jefferson Hospital, Angelo spoke with Eyewitness News on FaceTime.

"For me to put my guard down and except someone else's generosity and courteous and time really means a lot to me," Angelo expressed tearfully.

"I tried to hold it together but when I started to hear him crack myself, I knew it touched him," said Ashley Ortiz.

"I'm hoping he's happy with the colors but he's like as long as it's bright, I'll be good with it," said  Ortiz's wife Sue.

Angelo Lewis Ortiz Jr. gave a message thanking the volunteers.

"God Bless every single one of y'all. Thank y'all for coming out and helping me and my family and God's willing and God's grace, I'll be able to repay it back to y'all," he said.


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