ELMA, NY - The word 'home' has a different meaning for one Elma man.
About two weeks ago, friends and family of Norm Reformat came together to give him a gift that he'll never forget, a newly refurbished home.
There are still some upgrades that need to be made, but when Norm got home for the first time after a long hospital stay, the emotion on his face said it all. He's a man incredibly thankful for what this community has done for him.
"They told me somebody wanted to say goodbye to me and they took me into a conference room and they showed me some of the stuff that you guys have been doing, man...I don't deserve it. I love you guys for everything that you've done," said Reformat.
Norm was battling kidney problems while in the hospital, he also had a bad infection and a minor heart attack. People have been showing him videos of all the work that's been done on South Blossom Road in Elma.
As a local plumbing salesman, remodeling his home is the job Norm always wanted to do and is his dream.
"Thank you guys, thank you, I 'm glad I'm happy enough to absorb it, because it's a lot, it's a lot to take in right now," he said.
Bill Marshall, a friend of Norm's said the project has been in the works for a while, "we knew what Norm wanted because we'd come into this dreary house and he'd sit and talk about it because that's what guys talk about, right? And I just kept mentally, taking it in, taking it in."
Stairways, walls and floors have been completely refurbished. Some upgrades still need to be made, like a light here or a paint job there. But that's okay with Norm.
"It's more done than when I was living in here," he said.
And Norm got a housewarming gift, a framed picture of all those who worked on the project.
"That's fantastic, that means more than anything, just having everybody there," he said.
Gary, Norm's brother said, "We worked really hard on this and put many hours in, but the most important thing is that Norm is alive and well."
"You go through life and you do so many things, and life gets difficult at times but this is what not just that the work was done, this is what life's about. Is having people and family around you in times of need," said.
And at 51-years-old, Norm just won a 38-year battle against diabetes. He's now free from the disease.
Organizers of the project think they'll get the job done in the next few weeks.