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Community steps in to clean up litter for woman fighting cancer

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Posted at 12:52 PM, Mar 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-23 14:53:27-04

CINCINNATI — When Angela Hesson stared out her window at the Senior Chateau in East Price Hill, her view choked by litter, cigarette butts and plastic bags, she described it in a Facebook post on the page "West Side, Best Side!"

The COVID-19 pandemic had trapped Hesson inside and her first-floor windows had become her primary view of the world. To make things harder, she was already in the midst of a fight against cancer, and wasn't able to fight against the garbage, too.

She wanted one simple thing and even offered to pay: someone to come help clean up.

Within minutes, responses began to pour in; from people offering to clean the mess for free to a woman offering the services of a local Girl Scout troop.

"It was pretty bad," said Daniel Taylor, who came to help clean for Hesson. "You can notice what we didn't clean."

Taylor, a neighbor who lives on the fourth floor, decided to get involved. Hesson said two teenagers also stopped by and helped, but she did not learn their names.

"I was coming here on a call and I saw some young guys picking up paper and litter in the front of this building," said Derrick Hillman, who works in maintenance at Senior Chateau.

He said the maintenance team tries to stay on top of all the litter in the area, but even cleaning every day doesn't seem to help.

"We have to come out and clean these grounds five days a week, so if we get any kind of help, that's a blessing," said Hillman.

WCPO spoke with Hesson, but a scheduled interview was canceled after her cancer treatments left her feeling too sick and weak.

Taylor said he's proud he was able to perform a good deed -- just in time for Hesson to be able to finally see the daffodils outside her window in bloom.

This story originally reported by Raven Richard on WCPO.com