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Corrigan Times - Local News

Copyright 2012 - Polk County Publishing Company

 

Habitat for Humanity dedicates Bell family home

 

CORRIGAN -- The Bell family has had a very exciting year that included a trip to Hawaii in June and now a Habitat for Humanity home. Habitat for Humanity of Polk County dedicated their 14th house this past Sunday, Aug. 19. The house is located at 433 Corrigan Heights Road in Corrigan. Joe Westmoreland and Wayne Roberts, were the team leaders; Jerry Hawkins, is the volunteer coordinator and worked on the job just about every week; and all the other faithful volunteers who worked so diligently these last months to construct the house. Volunteers also included having young people and adults from First Baptist Church and the First Assembly of God in Corrigan to do the landscaping. Think you can’t help? Guess again. Here are some ways you can be a part of this ministry:• Pray for this work. Habitat builds homes with low-income people because, as Millard Fuller, founder of Habitat, said, “Everyone was created to be a child of God, and God doesn’t want any of God’s children living in shacks.”• Bring a lunch to the volunteer workers.• Donate money to buy the materials.• Give your used ink-jet cartridges, printer toner cartridges, and cell phones for recycling. The local Habitat affiliate has raised almost $9,000 with these. Bring them to the Habitat office or one of the collection boxes in Livingston.• Volunteer on the build. There are opportunities for very un-skilled workers as well as experienced people. Remember, both men and women are needed. Habitat is more than delighted to announce that the hiring of it first paid staff person. At its meeting on July 26, the board approved the hiring of Tony Oates as executive director. Tony comes brimming with skills and ideas about how to improve the operation. Habitat has moved from the previous office at the Westside Branch of First National Bank in Livingston to an even more spacious office at the downtown branch. It seems that the bank needed the space and the space downtown was available. Habitat is so grateful to First National Bank for providing office space and office support services to Habitat for Humanity since the Westside office opened. Travis and Rebecca Bell have two sons, Travis Jr., 11, who is known as “Boojie,” and Dakota, 7. “Boojie” has leukemia, which, thankfully, is now in remission but needs continual treatment and medication. Travis Sr. and Rebecca have been on the job every Saturday except for trips to Houston to see the doctors. Travis works for Corrigan-Camden ISD, which gives him access to their ice machine, which we took advantage of every workday at the house. The Bells are members of the Union Springs Baptist Church, and the pastor and some members of the church worked as volunteers at the house on more than one occasion. The new house is next door to their current home, which is woefully inadequate, so they can hardly wait to move in. The boys have already selected their rooms. The family missed a couple of weekends when they were on their trip to Hawaii. Travis Bell Jr., a soon to be fifth grade student at Corrigan-Camden Elementary School, had a wish of going to Hawaii for vacation and thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation his dream came true. Travis was diagnosed with All T-cell Acute Leukemia on December 20, 2010 and as of now he is in remission but will still continue his chemotherapy till 2014. He has been in remission since June 2011. This specific type of leukemia starts in the blood and bone marrow. 1According to Travis Sr., it can cause tumors and growths and if not diagnosed soon enough can be fatal. Rebecca Bell (his mother) said that he had developed a rash on his hand in December 2010 and then a couple days later he started vomiting. Rebecca and her husband Travis Sr. took little Travis to the doctor where they performed a x-ray and did blood work. The doctor called the Bell’s at 6 p.m. that evening and he told them to go to Texas Children’s Hospital immediately. The doctor told Rebecca and Travis Sr. that their son had leukemia. They were devastated but were staying strong for little Travis’ sake. The doctor told them that little Travis had a white cell blood count of 420,000 and the regular is white cell count is 9,000-10,000.“I remember some things but a lot I don’t remember,” stated little Travis. “The doctor said that Travis would be in the hospital for six to eight weeks and he got out in six days,” stated Travis Sr. Rebecca said that it was all the prayers little Travis received that helped him to leave that quick. “There were people praying everywhere for Travis and praise God they did,” Rebecca said. Rebecca said the first year of his illness they spent most of the year in Houston at the hospital. He has had three surgeries which consisted of PICC lines and ports. He also had to have a spinal tap every three months. The first year he had chemo every week and now he only has to go once a month. He also had cranial radiation to keep the cancer from going to the brain. During one of his radiation treatments the Texas Childrens Hospital gave the family tickets to see their first Astros game. Little Travis has a weak immune system and has to be very careful. If his fever rises they have to head to Houston to Tex-as Children’s Hospital immediately.Travis said he was scared at first but he knew God was in control. The family visited Hawaii June 15-22 where they stayed in Oahu, Hawaii in the Ashton Waikii Ho-tel. The family counselor from the Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston informed the Bell family about the Make-A-Wish Foundation and that is what got the ball rolling. The foundation payed for everything -- food, gas, souvenir money, air fare and just about everything else. The Bell family visited the Flight Museum, deep sea fishing, a World War II bunker, horseback riding, US Arizona Memorial and Travis’ most favorite a luau. “We had a great time,” stated little Travis. Travis got to return to school on Halloween last year for the first time since he was diagnosed. Travis is definitely a little trooper and hopefully will be cancer free in a couple more years and will be a cancer survivor. The Bell’s would like to thank everyone in the community that have done so much to help them in their time of need. “This is a great community we live in,” stated Rebecca

 

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