VAN BUREN, Ark. (KFSM) — A local home builder is paying it forward by donating all the proceeds of a home he built to a firefighter battling a chronic disease.
“Accepting help isn’t easy or natural for me to do because I’d rather be the one helping,” Les Stephenson said.
Les Stephenson is a battalion chief for the Van Buren Fire Department and was diagnosed with ALS, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease in November of 2017.
Since then he has participated in a year-long clinical trial at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.
To help him with his treatment, TEI Properties built a home in Van Buren with all the proceeds from its sale going to Stephenson to help with bills and medical expenses.
“There were tears of joy. I’m not one to ask for help,” Stephenson said.
Owner of TEI Properties Joe Brown says he used to go to church with Stephenson and knew he was fighting this awful disease and wanted to help.
“It was a burden I think God put on my heart and I prayed about it and it’s something that I felt led to do, I don’t know why, just something I kept thinking and praying about, losing sleep over,” Brown said.
The house is listed at $310,000 and has been on the market for about a week.
Brown says the quicker it sells, the quicker he gets to give the money to Stephenson’s family.
“I thought about if this happened to me what would I do and would someone step up and help me because most people you can’t lose an income in your home and if you lose an income how are you going to help your family,” Brown said.
Stephenson says they are looking into other treatment options in another country because there aren’t many treatment options here in the United States, so this money will help them be able to do that.
“I can’t express how much this helps or means to me and my family,” Stephenson said.
The 1,971 square feet farmhouse style home sits on almost four acres in Van Buren. It has a two-car garage, three bedrooms and two bathrooms.
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