Woman with ALS, husband given home, car by Vet Hunters group

POMONA, Calif. (KABC) -- After years of struggling with homelessness, Terry Ressler and Cici Brown are getting a fresh start.

"It's a home! It's going to change our life... immensely," Ressler said as they walked through their new place for the first time.

The small one-bedroom in Pomona is a huge improvement from the un-air-conditioned Ford Taurus the couple once lived in for five years. Their conditions were made even tougher after Brown was diagnosed with ALS. Her disease progressed to the point where she needed a feeding tube and could no longer speak.

"It wasn't easy. I would go into McDonald's and get water to flush her G-tube that she has in her stomach and then I would give her food and her medicine in the car," Ressler recalled.

Eyewitness News first brought you their story three months ago, when folks from the non-profit Vet Hunters found the couple parked at a McDonald's. The small volunteer organization rescues veterans living on the streets, but when they heard the couple's story, even though they weren't vets, they couldn't walk away.

"All of us are on a journey and none of us got to where we are on the mountain by ourselves," said Kevin George, executive director of Vet Hunters. "We got there because of friends and parents and coaches and teachers who all reached down and gave us a hand at some point. And that's all we're doing. We're just reaching down and grabbing the hands of other people that are struggling on their journey."

And to lighten the load of Ressler and Brown's journey even further, Vet Hunters also surprised them with a new car.

"...Rebuilt engine, new tires, new brakes, even the radio works. But most importantly, it's air conditioned," George told Ressler and Brown.

The car was a donation from John Yousoufian, a long-time supporter of Vet Hunters and owner of Hye Tech Auto, an auto repair shop in Covina.

"From day one, it's been very moving, their story and what they've gone through. And I'm just so glad to see the progression and to actually be a part of the change in their lives," said Yousoufian.

Vet Hunters rely on private donations to be able to help veterans. If you would like to help, donations can be made at www.VetHunters.org.
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