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How a nonprofit and volunteers are making life easier for veteran battling cancer

"We do it for our Lord. The payback comes from the smiles we get."
Posted at 5:23 PM, Sep 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-30 17:23:35-04

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- Each day brings its own set of challenges for Navy veteran John Sabatini.

"I had a tumor in my right leg and have stints in both my left and right leg. My right leg just disappears out from under me with no warning," Sabatini said.

The medical challenges are brought on by the stage 4 cancer he fights daily.

For the Goochland man, it is getting tougher to get around, but medical appointments for chemo and radiation are necessary. Steep stairs at his home make it difficult.

After spending much of the summer bedridden, friends reached out to local nonprofit Project Homes for help building a wheelchair ramp.

Pete Adler and his team at Project Homes answered the calls. He and volunteers from the Chester Rotary Club and Grace Lutheran Church learned how critically needed the ramp was.

"His doctors told him he has 18 months to two years to live with this disease. This will give him the best opportunity during that time period and it’s just a blessing to be able to provide that to him," Adler explained.

The ramp is a huge burden lifted for Sabatini who says one day he will rely on a wheelchair.

"It’s going to get worse, my walking. To the point that I won’t be able to. So, having it in place now is a huge relief," he said.

It's all thanks to a small army of volunteers on a mission to spread love and let their lights shine.

"We do it for our Lord. The payback comes from the smiles we get from the residents," Adler said.

"To have something this beautiful and this functional appear before your very eyes, it was amazing when I saw it come up. I can’t thank them enough for the work they did and the blessings they gave me," Sabatini said.

With the ramp done, that’s one less worry for him, but Sabatini still faces a mountain of medical bills.

A GoFundMe page is set up in his name for those who want to offer support for the retired navy veteran.