Leukemia patient in need of help
Sue Guinn Legg
Jan 9, 2014 at 10:40 AM
A Greeneville woman undergoing treatment for leukemia at Vanderbillt University Medical Center is in need of help with bills back at home.Lisa Israel was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia on Dec. 18 and was admitted to the Nashville hospital the following day.Her fiancé, Timothy Tesnear, a longtime roofer in Church Hill, borrowed against his paycheck to be with her at Vanderbilt and spent nearly three weeks camped in a chair in her room in the hospital’s Critical Care Tower in order to make his money last.Tesnear returned to Greeneville Monday to take care of things at home during this week’s blast of dangerously cold weather. His plan now is to work every day he can to pay back his loan, catch up their household bills and drive back and forth to Nashville on weekends.If everything goes as Israel’s doctors hope, she may be able to return home in February.Tesnear’s family went through the same sort of financial challenges last year with his mother, who spent six weeks at Vanderbilt for a bone marrow transplant, and they’re preparing now to help him through Israel’s stay in Nashville.Tesnear’s mother is Sheila Whaley, who’s been back at home in Johnson City since late October in remission from multiple myeloma blood cancer, enjoying her new grandchild and her new head of hair. During Whaley’s illness, the family staged three large yard sales to help her and her husband with the cost of their repeated trips to Nashville. In the end, the donations they received for those sales covered the cost of the room near the hospital where the couple stayed during Whaley’s six weeks of follow-up care following the transplant.“I was blessed. There’s a lot of good people out there,” she said. Whaley is now gathering items to sell to help her son and future daughter-in-law and is asking anyone who wishes to help with donated items to call Tesnear at 470-6803.The sale will be held at Israel’s Greeneville home on a date to be announced. Financial donations to help the couple may be made to Timothy Tesnear by mail to 1040 W. Summer St., Greeneville, TN 37743.Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee is recruiting church youth groups for the Souper Bowl of Caring to help support community based food pantries, shelters and emergency kitchens across the region.Through Feb. 2, the food bank is asking youth groups to choose a Sunday to conduct a food drive or request a love offering at their church to help Second Harvest help more than 200 feeding agencies in Northeast Tennessee.Local food drives for the Souper Bowl of Caring may be registered by calling the food bank at 279-0430. Food donations may be brought to the food bank’s new location in the former Sam’s Club building on Jericho Drive, just off Airport Parkway in Kingsport. Monetary donations to Second Harvest may be made by mail to 1020 Jericho Drive, Kingsport, TN 37663.The YWCA of Bristol has kicked off its 2014 Prom Dress Drive to help teens across the region with the cost of dressing up for their high school prom. Hosted by the YMCA’s junior board of directors, the drive invites teens and others to donate their used evening gowns, dresses, shoes, accessories and unopened makeup for a special sale to be held at the Y March 6-8. The annual sale is open to all teens and features hundreds of previously worn gowns and accessories at deeply discounted prices. Donations to last year’s sale also provided prom gowns at no cost to 59 teenage girls in need.Donations may be brought to the YWCA at 106 State St., Bristol. For more information about the drive, call 968-9444 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.If there is a need or a project in your neighborhood the Good Neighbor column can assist with, contact Sue Guinn Legg at email@example.com, P.O. Box 1717, Johnson City, TN 37605 1717 or 929-3111, ext. 335.