Volunteers help clean up yard of cancer patient berated for weeds by Hamtramck judge

Earlier this year, a Hamtramck judge berated a 72-year-old man with cancer for his overgrown yard.

"Shameful!" Judge Alexis Krot said during a hearing. "If I could give you jail time on this, I would."

More: Judge who berated cancer patient for weeds apologizes

Now, Burhan Chowdhury is getting some help.

SAY Detroit organized two shifts with 30 volunteers each.

"He was berated over his yard being in rough shape, and unfortunately Mr. Chowdhury was unable to work in his yard because of his age and because of his cancer that he's battling right now, so when we heard about the story we thought what a great opportunity to come in and help a family that's really in need and engage our volunteer workforce," said Richard Kelley, the executive director of SAY Detroit. "It means a lot to all of our volunteers to be able to be here today and make such a tremendous impact."

Some volunteers included associates from Kirco in Troy who were sidelined during the Covid pandemic, but are finally able to get back to helping others.

"For the team to be able to be together and work together - this is our first opportunity really since the pandemic started," said Therese Peace Agboh, the vice president of talent and culture at Kirco. "It feels great to be out here in the fresh air and have the opportunity to laugh and have fun with each other and at the same time do some good."

Burhan Chowdhury's son, Shibbier Chowdhury, said his father's cancer is now gone, but he is still facing challenges.

"Cancer is gone, but he's still having difficulty breathing, some heart issues because of the side effects of the chemotherapy he had, so that's the thing he's suffering from now," he said. "But hopefully seeing all of these people who care will do his heart good."

Shibbier Chowdhury expressed gratitude for the volunteers who came out to help.

"Thank you all the volunteer teams and their efforts to make our property clean and beautiful like everybody else," he said. "I'm really grateful to the team."