Volunteers provide Christmas for Cove teen with cancer
By LYNETTE SOWELL
16-year-old Savannah Lewis returned home from the hospital on Wednesday afternoon to find a newly decorated downstairs bedroom and the outside of her family’s home on Scott Drive in House Creek North decorated for Christmas with the help of volunteers.
More than 100 from the local community turned out in a show of support for Lewis, whose condition is now terminal. Over Thanksgiving, she entered the hospital for pain control, but has now returned home to the care of hospice.
Still, on late Wednesday afternoon, the teenager was helped outside by her family to see her well-wishers and to get a ride by horse drawn wagon around the block.
Last fall, Lewis was diagnosed with a rare bone cancer in children, Ewing sarcoma, that was diagnosed after having months of ongoing severe leg pain. She fought through treatments during her freshman year of high school, and at last spring’s Relay For Life Survivor Dinner, she shared about her hopes of completing her “hard chemos” in time for the end of the school year and was already looking ahead to her sophomore year of high school.
With her family facing the thought that this Christmas may be her last, local volunteers have rallied around the family to make this Christmas season a memorable one for the family.
On Wednesday, veteran volunteers painted a downstairs room in a vivid shade of blue—Savannah’s favorite color—to transform the room into a downstairs bedroom for Savannah.
Businesses in Copperas Cove like Action Pawn, Lil Tex Restaurant, O’Reilly’s and Ace Hardware changed their sign boards to read “Savannah Strong” in support of her.
Julie Moser, founder of Pink Warriors Angels, has come alongside the Lewis family since learning of her diagnosis last fall. In less than 24 hours of putting out the call online for help to decorate the home, so many reached out that a professional decorating crew took care of putting up the lights on the house and other outside décor.
In addition to the horse drawn wagon ride, Savannah also received some presentations, one from the Five Hills Scholarship Pageant royalty.
Pageant director Wendy Sledd told Savannah they were humbled and thankful that she welcomed them to serve her that day, and Five Hills Ambassador Trisha Stutz crowned Savannah with a tiara, welcoming her as royalty. Stutz’s daughter, Kayla, the reigning Miss Coryell County, gave Savannah her sash.
In addition to their visit, Don Nicholas, local field representative of Congressman Roger Williams, played a video greeting from Williams, who said he was unfortunately unable to pay a visit to her in person.
Julie Moser said a few words to Savannah on behalf of the community.
“These are the people that love you; you are not alone. Ever. You will never be alone. This is for you, because the community loves you. They may not be here present every day. They follow you they ask me about you all the time,” Moser said. “From all of us who are standing here with you, this is a group hug to you. You have sweet dreams, and always know and always feel us in your heart.”
Some brought gifts and cards for Savannah, and others came with different support, including Heather Gutierrez, whose daughter Trinity has been Savannah’s friend since sixth grade. Heather said Trinity was unable to be there at first because of tutorials, but would be at Savannah’s home shortly, ready to spend some time with her friend and welcome her home.
“She was very nervous about having that hug in front of everyone,” Heather said. Her daughters wore blue-and-gold shirts with the slogan “Savannah is a diamond and you can’t break her #SavannahStrong.”
“We made those shirts right at the beginning,” Heather said. “Savannah picked out the quote. We definitely plan to get these teenage girls together as much as we can over the next few weeks.”
In addition to gifts for Savannah, some brought toy donations that will be given to the organization Teed Off At Cancer and will be delivered to local hospitals on behalf of Savannah.
The Lewis family welcomes cards for Savannah at the following address: 1903 Scott Dr., Copperas Cove, TX 76522. Savannah’s family has a Facebook page where updates are provided at https://www.facebook.com/TeamSavannahStrong.