Heat Up Wisconsin Helps Local Family
The Heat Up Wisconsin program started 3 years ago and has since provided hundreds of families in Wisconsin with new furnaces just in time for winter. Video by nbc26.comvideo
GREEN BAY-- The Heat Up Wisconsin program started 3 years ago and has since provided hundreds of families in Wisconsin with new furnaces just in time for winter. This year the program is helping a Green Bay man who was stricken with a deadly liver disease that required a transplant to save his life.
Ken and Penny Wendorf fell on hard times after a liver disease left Ken questioning his will to live.
"I talked to my wife and I said I can't do this anymore," Ken said.
In 2009 Ken was diagnosed with a deadly disease causing his liver to fail and putting him a constant state of confusion.
"His liver was acting up so bad that it destroyed the kidneys then when the kidneys starting acting up, he was getting really bad," said Penny Wendorf.
But Ken got news he would get the transplant he needed, around the same time the Wendorfs learned they would be getting help through the Heat Up Wisconsin program.
Wesley Heating and Cooling installed the new furnace. Tim Miller says the program enables his company to help families like the Wendorfs.
“The people are so grateful to get the help and our employees enjoy doing it because they donate their time it's a program where neighbors helping neighbors,” Miller said.
A family friend submitted the Wendorf's story to the Heat Up Wisconsin website and they were chosen to receive the furnace replacing their old unit that was more than 30 years old.
The program currently serves families in Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Miller says it’s expanding to Oregon and Minnesota. Organizers hope to bring it to Illinois and Iowa next year.