A community uses social media to help a teen with cancer

Posted on: 10:06 pm, December 15, 2013, by

CEDAR HILL, MO. (KPLR) – Local volunteers, contractors and workmen pull off a surprise four day home makeover for a teen cancer patient and her single mom in Cedar Hill.  13-year old Pheonix Spangler and her mother, Stephanie Furtado spent the four days relaxing out of the house.  The eighth grader has stage four embyronal rhabdomyosarcoma. She and her mother have spent long days at Cardinal Glennon Children`s Medical Center for chemotherapy.  That has left little time to attend to home repairs or even redecorating.

Friends from Faith Community Church launched a plan to help make some repairs and redo Furtado`s bedroom.  But the effort grew dramatically with the help of social media and a 33-year-old assembly line worker at the General Motors plant in Wentzville, Shawn Kohrs.  ‘It snowballed..everybody wanted to join forces.  It turned into this amazing home remodel project,’ Kohrs said.

In two months the volunteers, led by Pat Weiss of Faith Community, lined up contractors, donated appliances and furniture including new kitchen cabinets.  The family`s garage door was replacedand a new deck and fencing installed.

The mother and daughter returned to their neighborhood like rock stars in a stretch limo Sunday afternoon.  A crowd of volunteers greeted them as the remodeling project was unveiled.

‘This is shocking. It`s so cool. It`s so nice that my whole community got together and did all this for us.   I`m like crying,’ said Spangler.  She believes the new home atmosphere will raise her spirits and help her fight the cancer.

Her mother was shocked by the extent of the work.  ‘I knew the bedroom was being redone, and I figured maybe a few minor touches but…nothing like this.  I never ever expected anything this immaculate, and it`s amazing.’

The remake project has broadened the goals of the Faith Community Church of House Springs.  ‘I think we have all agreed upon that fact that this is a beginning of us being able to reach out to our community.   Look what an idea and when you put it out to the community look what happened,’ Weiss said.

The giving won`t end with Pheonix.  Friends brought toys to her that she will take to other child cancer patients in the hospital.

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