EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Haverhill

June 16, 2014

Making her home livable

Group to renovate house of woman stricken with kidney disease

HAVERHILL — Laurie Bogrett, 41, suffers from a genetic kidney disease that has prevented her from working.

She’s been undergoing dialysis three times a week since October. The treatments, which last about three hours each, leave her arms covered in deep blue bruises.

Bogrett could use some good news. She got it recently when the Rebuilding Together Greater Haverhill group agreed to replace her badly deteriorated roof and make other repairs and renovations to the Salem Street home she shares with two teenage daughters.

The local Rebuilding Together group, which is an offshoot of the national program by the same name, specializes in home repairs, accessibility improvements and energy-efficiency upgrades for people who meet federal low-income guidelines. The work is done at no cost to the homeowner.

Michael McGonagle, a Haverhill city councilor and president of the local Rebuilding Together chapter, said about 30 volunteers from Phillips North America, an Andover-based health care company, will descend on Bogrett’s home Wednesday to do most of the work. A company is coming before then to install the new roof, he said.

Phillips is also providing $15,000 for the project, McGonagle said.

Exterior work is to include painting the home’s cement foundation, a retaining wall and the front and back porch, rebuilding a fence on the property and replanting a flower bed strewn with weeds, McGonagle said. Inside, workers will make electrical and plumbing upgrades. Mold in the home caused by the leaky roof has already been removed, McGonagle said.

Bogrett said she is looking forward to having her toilet fixed. She added her home’s electrical system is “a little scary.”

“It’s very exciting,” Bogrett said of the impending work. “I especially feel good that my girls are going to have a nice place to live.”

The local Rebuilding Together group holds its big event annually in April, when upwards of a 100 volunteers fan out across Haverhill and surrounding communities to make free repairs and improvements to homes of low-income senior citizens, disabled people, veterans and families with children. This year’s event was the group’s 21st rebuilding day.

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