Home makeover benefits ill teenager in Region 8

CORD, AR (KAIT) - The new year is bringing new beginnings to one Region 8 family. The Arkansas Children's Hospital and Sterling Home Solutions teamed up to give a home makeover for a teenager suffering from several health conditions.

The home was in bad shape. The floors had fallen through in several places, to the point where nurses were unable to come to the home to do dialysis for the teen. The Arkansas Children's Hospital contacted Sterling Home Solutions to help re-do the flooring of the home, but what the family got was a lot more.

"I told my crew this is strictly to help, and you can either work this week or not, but we're going to do this job. All three of my guys stepped up and said we'll do it for nothing, lets do this," says Will Sterling, owner of Sterling Home Solutions.

He says for the past five days he and his crew have been hard at work on a project inspired by a sixteen-year-old girl battling with her health.

"We thought the girl just had kidney problems. We didn't realize she had been through what she'd been through. She had open heart surgery, a heart transplant, and has been through cancer. That's a brave little girl," says Sterling.

But, with the help of 6,500 dollars provided through the state by the Baby Sharon Fund, money out of Sterling's own pocket, and a dedicated crew...the Kellems family walked in Saturday to a new home.

You could still smell the fresh paint, with Sterling saving the best room, Cassandra's room, for last. "This room was the most important room to me. I wanted her to walk in and see all her favorite things," says Sterling.

"I really like my room," says sixteen-year-old Cassandra Kellems.

"It's a brand new year, and brand new life, a new beginning," says mother Darlene Kellems

The family was overjoyed having the family back together all under one roof.

"I've been living with my brother and sister-in-law. My husband and my older daughter have been living in this home," says Darlene Kellems.

"Me and my family are going to be back home where we belong and we can't thank the people that made this possible enough," says father Dennis Kellems.

As for Sterling, he says being able to see Cassandra's face light up made it all worth while.

"I've been a contractor for years and actually being able to do this is a dream come true," says Sterling.

Sunday was the first time for Sterling and his crew to meet the family. He says his crew worked over 60 hours this week to make all this possible, and hopes to keep in contact with the family.

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