Teri’s Notebook: Families in need this holiday season | NevadaAppeal.com

Teri’s Notebook: Families in need this holiday season

Teri Vance

The Christmas season is upon us. It's a time to be with family and friends, and focusing on those things in life that matter most: love, charity, gratitude, generosity and everything else that is good.

However, there are those among us who are struggling during this happiest time of the year.

The Smith family in Silver Springs managed to escape a house fire on Dec. 15 with just their dogs and the clothes on their backs.

The couple and their 6-year-old daughter is trying to piece their lives back together after losing everything.

"My wife and I lost all of the Christmas gifts we got for our daughter," said Shane Smith. "She and I are kind of having a hard time with that. Between everything that was lost, that's the highest on the priority list, being that it's Christmas."

He said the community has given them clothing and other supplies, while they've been sleeping on the floor in his uncle's home.

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"It's been — it's hard not to cry, actually — I have no idea how I will every thank all of the people who have stepped up to help us," he said.

The family is in need of financial help to get a new mobile home set up on their lot.

For more information or to donate go to http://www.gofundme.com/ixh4xw or check out Please Help the Smith Family on Facebook.

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Crystal Evenson Briscoe, a 2003 Carson High School graduate, was diagnosed in October with stage 4 diffused gastric cancer, a rare, incurable disease. Only 15 percent of the of the people with gastric cancer have that form of it, and it's even more rare for a 29 year old woman to have it.

While her cancer is not curable, it is treatable. She will begin her treatment with a 21-day regimen of chemotherapy in Reno, with follow-ups every nine weeks in Houston. If her cancer responds well to the chemo she will continue her treatment. If it does not respond, she will be put on a clinical trial, requiring her and her family to stay in Houston for weeks at a time.

Her friend, Danielle Collins, set up a fundraising page to help Briscoe and her family with the associated costs.

"Any funds received are greatly appreciated and will be used for Crystal's medical expenses and the very expensive trips back and forth to Texas," Collins said.

Go to http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/punch-crystal-s-cancer-in-the-stomach/277942#.VJBCjjqxo4w.mailto to help.

•••

I want you guys to be one of the first to know — after 15 years, I will be leaving the Nevada Appeal. My last day is Jan. 2.

I'll give you more details in upcoming columns, but I wanted you to hear it from me first, rather than through the rumor mill. This has been my dream job, and I have truly enjoyed working with this community and telling your stories.

I hope to continue to do so, but in a different way. I appreciate your support and value your friendship. I look forward to sharing new adventures with you.

Teri Vance can be reached at tvance@nevadaappeal.com.