Community comes together to help Odessa family facing medical problems

ODESSA, Wash. — The Hicks family of eight has four members of the family facing medical problems. Thanks to the community surrounding them, they know they’re not alone.

“It’s a one in a million town,” said HaLee Walter, who started a Facebook fundraiser for the Hicks family.

It’s a small city, also known as Odessa, Washington.

“It’s been amazing. You don’t really get that community feel in a big city,” said Heaven Hicks.

Nine years ago, Heaven Hicks and her six kids decided Odessa would be their new home.

“We literally moved here with probably about three outfits each, our birth certificate, and social security cards,” said Hicks.

After receiving some bad news this past January, Hicks thought she might need to start over once again.

“I tested positive for likelihood of getting cervical cancer,” Hicks said.

In the span of just a month, she along with three of her kids were all diagnosed with different illnesses.

Hicks will need to have a hysterectomy, her daughter Navaeh will need her tonsils removed, her son Xavier is having issues with his blood work, and her oldest son Jeremiah was diagnosed with a brain tumor.

“It’s a lot for all of us. It’s a lot for the kids. It affects them,” said Hicks.

That’s when HaLee Walter, a teacher at Odessa’s only school, decided to step in.

“We take care of our own,” said Walter.

She started a birthday fundraiser on Facebook to help raise money for the Hicks family.

“I put a $400 goal and then it just went crazy,” Walter said.

As of Monday, the page had over $3,000 worth of donations.

“It’s been awesome and overwhelming, but in a good way,” Hicks said.

While insurance is expected to cover most of the medical expenses, the donations raised will be used to pay for gas, meals, and child care.