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Community Helps Build New Home For L.I. Family

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James Shaljian with his family (credit: Mona Rivera)

James Shaljian with his family (credit: Mona Rivera)

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NEW YORK (1010 WINS) – A Long Island cancer patient who can’t live in his mold-riddled home in Mount Sinai will be getting a new house thanks to community builders and volunteers.

“It’s unbelievable, I can’t even put it into words, that people have stepped up like this,”  said James Shaljian, 45, who has been battling Hodgkin’s Lymphoma for more than eight years.

LISTEN: 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera reports

Shaljian, a husband and father of four daughters, ranging in age from 12 to 21, has been living in a one-room, shed-like cottage in the yard of his property since returning home from the hospital after undergoing a bone marrow transplant last November.

He was moved to the shed after being advised that the mold in the family home was contributing to his illness. 

shaljian 014 Community Helps Build New Home For L.I. Family

Part of the crew (Photo/Mona Rivera

Efforts to eradicate the mold in the 700 square foot, 2 bedroom bungalow have been unsuccessful and the family was informed that the entire structure needed to be demolished and rebuilt.

A Facebook page was launched last Spring nominating the family for the show “Extreme Makeover.” Though it attracted more than 6,000 followers, another Long Island family was chosen by the producers of the show. 

So, supporters of the Shaljians started their own group to lead a build.

A new Facebook page called “Building Hope for Long Island” was launched last week, and Dorothy Bosak Schlosser, a co-creator of the page said the organization’s goal is to build a new home for the Shaljian family and then help other local families.

DeBlasio Capo Design-Build and Coles Contracting Inc. have signed up to help the Shaljians.

“The thing we want to do is give them a clean, efficient, up-to-date house that they can spend time in together,” John Williams, one of the volunteers, said.

Donations of money, labor, and materials are being sought for the Shaljian build and future builds. To help out visit the “Building Hope For Long Island” Facebook page.

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