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‘A gift from God’: Loris family with child battling cancer has home renovated

Cancer Heroes of the Carolinas president Jennifer Johnson reveals the renovated home to mother...
Cancer Heroes of the Carolinas president Jennifer Johnson reveals the renovated home to mother Contina Graham and her children. Graham's 9 year old has battled brain cancer since he was 7.(WMBF)
Updated: Feb. 1, 2021 at 5:04 AM EST
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LORIS, S.C. (WMBF) - Two years ago, floodwaters damaged Contina Graham’s home. As a single mother of five, she had a hard time fixing it up herself while caring for her son, Brycen, who’s been diagnosed with brain cancer.

But thanks to the support from the community, their new home was revealed on Sunday.

Jennifer Johnson, president of Cancer Heroes of the Carolinas, said for eight straight days, a team of volunteers worked to replace nearly everything on her flood-damaged home.

“It’s been a struggle,” Graham said.

Johnson met Graham through her nonprofit. She said they started helping out the Grahams like any other of their cancer families by making sure they could get to and from appointments and that they had food on the table.

But when they realized how damaged their home was from flooding, Johnson tried to help Graham work with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Unfortunately, FEMA couldn’t help enough, as they only offered the family of six a single-wide mobile home.

“Typically we pay bills, if the family needs assistance with any type of bill pay,” Johnson said. “But as an organization, we just decided to take this project on.”

So they got to work. All new floors, cabinets, furniture, windows, landscaping, and a new front porch. They also fixed electrical sockets and added a fresh coat of paint.

Graham said more than anything, she’s in shock with the end result.

“Butterflies; it’s hard to explain. I got a safe home for me and my kids,” she said.

Johnson said she understands how Graham feels. She’s been a single mother with a child with cancer herself.

“As an organization to be able to put this home back together, so we know she’s got somewhere to raise these children. It’s truly just been a gift from God,” Johnson said.

Graham added that she’s looking forward to cooking in the new kitchen.

As for 9-year-old Brycen, he said the best part is his brand new Clemson themed bedroom.

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