Rochester family finds new beginning after difficult year thanks to a free roof contest

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(ABC 6 News) – Expect the unexpected they say. But that’s just one wrench in the toolbox for one Rochester family – the Ellefson family.

The family was struggling to replace their storm-damaged roof and with their teenage daughter Mckenzie sick, it got put on the back burner.

You could say it’s the story of a guardian angel. Adam Ellefson won ABC 6’s Weather Shield Roof Giveaway. A blessing in itself and a sign Ellefson says his daughter is okay.

The family’s roof was destroyed by hail storms last spring.

“The constant having to deal with it. Worrying if it’s going to get worse every time it rains. And a lot of it, there’s a lot of gutter issues and lack of them with this house,” said Ellefson.

The roof is so bad, every time it rains the Ellefson’s deal with water dripping down into every nook and cranny in the kitchen. Resulting in having to move the stove out to make sure mold doesn’t grow.

This fall, Adam called a local company to try and fix the roof. They never showed up. The roof wasn’t his only concern. His 15-year-old daughter Mckenzie had been dealing with type 1 diabetes and mental health issues. Not able to find a treatment plan in Rochester that worked for her, she went to Clinton, Iowa to live with her mom.

That Christmas, a Christmas Day tragedy would change their lives forever.

“She wasn’t taking care of her diabetes and she ended up passing away from it on Christmas morning.”

Still healing, this winter Adam heard of a free roof contest from ABC 6 News and Weather Shield Roofing. Either way, Adam would have just been happy to get the estimate he needed to fix his roof.

Lisa McCormick, the homeowner and Adam’s mom remembers the moment everything changed.

“He called me crying and crying and he couldn’t even barely get it out. I’m like ‘calm down!’ Then he told me everything.”

A sigh of relief for the household. A prayer answered thanks to Mckenzie.

“I told her if you want to put a roof over our heads, now is the time, and she did,” said Adam.

“It was really a blessing.”

Matt Kraus, the owner of Weather Shield Roofing was there when Adam won the contest. An emotional moment and one Kraus said is well deserved.

“He was going through a tough time in life and I feel it wasn’t a chance thing that Adam won.”

A sign from Adam’s guardian angel.

“Truly I feel that this was my daughter letting us know that she’s ok. That she’ll always be watching over us.”

A thank you that can hardly be put into words.

“We love you so much. Thank you kiddo. Thank you so much kiddo.”

A new roof and a new way of healing. Adam said the person from ABC 6 who reached out to him about the contest has also lost a child. Now, they will start attending grief counseling together.

This week would have been Mckenzie’s 16th birthday.

On a lighter note, the Ellefsons said there haven’t been any friendly disputes over what color to pick for the roof. As for Mckenzie, she loved her bright colors and would have picked pink or purple.

The Ellefsons should have their new roof within the next month.