Paying it Forward in Ephrata, Lancaster County

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Braving some wintry weather, FOX43’s Pay it Forward crew took to Main Street in Ephrata, Lancaster County. There, Dave Kolenski told us about his best friend, Joe Sweigart, a family man living with muscular dystrophy and heart failure.

“He chugs along pretty good for his disabilities,” Kolenski said. “He still goes to work, he refuses to not work and he loves taking care of his family. He loves his family very much and he’s just an all-around great guy.”

Dealing with mounting medical bills, a broken-down car, and just everyday living expenses, Sweigart could use a little help.

“Everybody deserves a break every once in a while, you know what I mean? Life can get really tough and if you have somebody there with a hand out to help you along a little bit, I think it makes a world of a difference,” Kolenski said.

When Kolenski surprised Sweigart with $200 at his doorstep, Sweigart was floored.

“Oh man! You didn’t have to do that Dave,” he said. “I really appreciate it. Thanks a lot man.”

Sweigart suffers from Becker muscular dystrophy, a slower progressing form of the disorder.

“Basically a slow deterioration of your muscles in your body over time,” Sweigart said.

On his most difficult days, his wife and daughter give him the motivation to keep going.

“Some mornings I wake up and I can’t and it hurts to get up and go and I try and I just think of my family and my little girl that I’ve got to support and I do as much as I can to help her out and be there for my family,” he said.

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