Rochester Grizzlies hockey team lends a helping hand to sisters moving out of their home

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(ABC 6 News) – Preparing your house to go on the market can be a tough task, especially alone. But the power of a number of hands is making a move easier for two sisters in Rochester who have had to overcome tough obstacles aside from preparing to sell their house.

Sisters Brenda Szuberski and Barbara Kirchner lost both of their parents this year just six months apart.

Kirchner moved into Szuberski’s house to help care for their family and now they are moving out. They got some extra help with the heavy lifting on Tuesday.

“We physically can’t do the heavy lifting and I had no idea what we could do and then I remembered Riley,” Szuberski said.

She’s talking about Riley Dueber. He’s a neighbor and is also on the Rochester Grizzlies junior hockey team. He offered to help the sisters out with their move and prepare the house to be put on the market.

“It feels great. Helping out the community. Our team does a lot of community service throughout the year but not anything really like this,” Grizzlies team captain Per Waage said. “It always feels good with the fan base that we have everyone comes out and supports us so the least we can do is support the community in any way we can.”

A handful of the team helped with carrying heavy boxes and furniture into the garage along with doing some yard work.

“I call them earth angels because with Steve’s illness too it was like Oh Lord what’s going to happen now? You’re going to have to send me help because I don’t know where I’m going to get it,” Szuberski said.

Szuberski and her husband Steven moved into this home in southeast Rochester almost 30 years ago and raised three children here. Steven was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimers in 2013 and Kirchner moved in to help with caregiving.

“It’s taken four years for me to get beyond Steve. He was a wonderful man. So this is actually the first time in four years that I’ve had hope that I can actually live a life beyond illness and Alzheimers,” Szuberski said.

Steven passed away in 2018. But the heartbreak didn’t stop there.

Szuberski and Kirchner’s mother had congestive heart failure and their father had dementia.

“Actually in November mom was diagnosed with cancer with pancreatic cancer. She was just a trooper and she had one treatment and came down with COVID and within five days she passed from COVID,” the sisters said.

But just six months after their mom’s death, their dad died unexpectedly.

“But when Dad died, I think that kind of shocked everyone because we didn’t expect it,” Kirchner said.

The pain of losing loved ones made Szuberski realize she wants to move closer to her grandchildren in Stewartville.

“We were just so thankful that the boys could come,” Szuberski said.

“That answered a lot of our prayers just to be able to have those boys come and lift all of those boxes,” Kirchner added.

Although the move is bittersweet, the sisters say they are not alone with the help from earth angels, or people that they say are placed on earth to help them.

“I’ve had three friends tell me now ‘Brenda, you’ve been caregiver long enough. You need to take care of yourself now.’ And so I’m looking forward to that,” Szuberski said.

Moving forward, the sisters know they have their own angels watching from above.