HADLEY, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- On Friday, a Hadley man, battling ALS, arrived at his new home and was welcome by the Hadley community. This moment was a long time coming. The last time he was home was back in April.
Lee Shumway is a man with an incredible sense of humor, especially for someone who is fighting for his life.
“People I went to high school with, cause I haven’t seen them in 40 years. Then they came out of the woodworks with tremendous support for me," Shumway said.
He is talking about the people who have been cheering him on since he was diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, in December of 2017. This new homecoming as Shumway continues to fight.
“I think this is going to be special for the time I have left," he added. "Cause my daughter lives 30 seconds up the road.”
Shumway hasn’t been outside since the height of the pandemic. When firefighters helped him out of his old home and into an ambulance, that was an experience for him.
"It’s kind of amazing to get thrown about by the fire department. But I knew where I was going. They were helpful," he noted.
One of the contractors told Western Mass News the original builder had walked off the project before completing the job. A new contractor, Robert Szklarz, came on board to finish it, making sure the home is accessible for Shumway to get around.
“There’s a lot of people that prey on the consumer as we all know. But to pray on somebody who is nearing the end of his life is heart-wrenching appalling, and I think that’s why it was important for us to step in and bring him to this point," Szklarz explained.
Shumway told us he has a mission of his own.
“I will continue to educate people until my last breath," he said.
He told Western Mass News that he's continuing to fight to find a cure for ALS, and he wants his family to as well.