2007-03-03 / Editorials & Letters

Pastor thanks community for helping Tori Diehl


My name is Pastor Brian Harkness and just before winter I posted a letter in the Buckeye Lake Beacon asking for support for Tori Diehl.

Tori is a 12 year old Lakewood Middle School student and member of our congregation at New Life Community Church. Tori was preparing to undergo a bone marrow transplant to help combat Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL). I asked for help from the citizens of our lake area communities by sponsoring a gift card drive.

Although my follow up letter is somewhat tardy, I would like to report on a few things that took place during late fall and early winter regarding our support of Tori. Due to the generosity of our local lake area citizenry, we raised over $1,600 in gift cards and cash for the Diehl family. This was an incredible blessing as above and beyond the obvious medical costs, the Diehl family has experienced the extra financial burden for daily peripheral consumables, such as gasoline, groceries, etc.

In addition to the gift card drive, two separate work days at the Diehl home were planned and completed in late November. Approximately 40 people, many from our own congregation, volunteered their time and talents toward home repairs, which included a new bathroom, new carpeting, plumbing repairs, gutter repairs, and yard work. Additionally, a whole house sanitization took place by cleaning the entire home interior with specially formulated cleaning agents for homes of cancer patients. During the work days, we were blessed to have not only professional contractors on site supervising the renovations, but also received all the bathroom components, carpeting, and much of the balance of necessary building materials as donations from local area merchants.

Our church website, has many photographs of our volunteers in action during the renovations. Most importantly, I asked for you to pray for Tori while undergoing her bone marrow transplant and following recovery. I want to report to you that Tori's transplant was successful, she has experienced significantpositive progress, and continues recovering at home. We at New Life Community Church have even been blessed by Tori's attendance in Sunday Worship Service on a few occasions. I continue to ask you to pray for Tori as she still has additional hurdles to cross in her battle with ALL. I wish my simple words "thank you" could carry the true weight of gratitude that is within my heart for all those who helped us help Tori. We truly have a caring and generous local population and I am proud to be a member of one of our communities.

Pastor Brian Harkness


Editor's Note: This letter got lost in our move to a new email host. It was originally sent in January.

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