Volunteers help clean up Detroit neighborhood so woman battling cancer can use her backyard

DETROIT (WXYZ) - Doris Jean Bailey is not only battling cancer, but the 82-year-old is also fighting the blight next door. 

The house caught fire last summer. Other than a condemned sign, nothing was ever done with the property. Pretty soon, the rats and rodents arrived and turned Ms. Bailey's backyard into a nuisance.

When Ms. Bailey and neighbors couldn't get help from city hall, she wrote a letter to 7 Action News Reporter Ronnie Dahl. After seeing her story, volunteers with AmeriCorps agreed to help.

Early Thursday morning, volunteers went to work. They started with hauling trash to the curb, then cleared away the weeds and boarded up the vacant house.

"This is what we do." said AmeriCorps coordinator Iselda Esquivel. "It feels really good to give back."

The clean up was a surprise for the long time Detroit resident, who was overwhelmed when she opened her front door and saw the flurry of activity. 

"I just can't speak at the love I feel for this being done." said Ms. Bailey. "I am going to be able to sit in my backyard and look over there. This is just awesome. Thank You."

Click on the video player to watch the entire report.

Click here to learn more about the AmeriCorps program in Detroit.

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