CASTLE HAYNE, NC (WWAY) -- The holidays are a time for family, friends and festive decorations; all of which came together this weekend for one Castle Hayne family dealing with the news that a beloved wife and mother must battle leukemia. Friends and peers pitched in to clean up and decorate the Wildeboer family's home as a special Christmas gift.
"She had some bruises, and the next thing you know, she was at the hospital here in New Hanover and then airlifted to Chapel Hill,” husband Pete Wildeboer said. “It just devastated our family."
Wildeboer's wife Kiersten was diagnosed with leukemia two weeks ago. She’s already survived cancer, but is battling blood disease this holiday season. In an effort to lift the spirits and carry the burdens of the Wildeboers, members of the Laney Babseball team and Fellowship of Christian Athletes got to work sprucing up their home. Son Peter Wildeboer is a junior at Laney High School and is part of both the baseball team and FCA.
"It's a great feeling that I know that they are here to support me in my times of trouble and grief,” Peter said. “It's just great to know that they are here for me."
"They are just wonderful people raising wonderful kids, and they've given a lot to this community as educators,” said long time family friend, teacher at Laney, head of the Laney FCA and cancer survivor Alan Sewell.
Sewell came up with the idea to fix the Wildeboer's driveway and clean up the yard as he was coming to see Pete when Kiersten was diagnosed. As the FCA leader, he thought it would be the perfect way to teach the kids how to tangibly show Christ's love during the Christmas season.
"If you just ask me if you need some help, I'll try to help you out the most I can, especially with Pete being a close friend of mine, I'd definitely come over here and do anything for him,” friend Cody McPherson said.
McPherson has known Peter since he was three and is also part of the baseball team and FCA.
He and all the volunteers agree that Mrs. Wildeboer is a wonderful woman and certainly deserving of their special Christmas clean-up.
Doctors say her form of leukemia is very curable, and she's expected to be home for Christmas.
"She's going to be very happy with it when she comes home,” son Peter said. “Probably going to bring her spirits up even more."
The Wildeboers are so thankful and have compared the experience to ‘Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.’ They say the improvements were certainly necessary and are so thankful for the outpouring of community support.