Turning tragedy into hope

This community has seen more than its fair share of tragedies recently.

Last summer, a 28-year-old Newnan mother and four children under the age of 5 were killed in an early morning fire. The only survivor, an 11-year-old, escaped through a window with the help of two passersby. The other children were ages 5, 3, 2 and 1.

Nine-year-old Abby Bacho died from injuries sustained in a December 2012 car accident.

Husband and father Rob Estes, who runs a well-known landscaping business, continues to fight a brain tumor.

Madeline McTier, a junior cheerleader at East Coweta High School, passed away last September after an 18-month battle with brain cancer. On Sunday, her older brother, Mitchell, suffered a severe brain injury while skiing. He remains in an induced coma.

There are other similar stories out there.

What is gratifying is the outpouring of support our community has shown to these families — through fundraising events, donations and a myriad of other things.

Hundreds of participants and attendees turned out at Crossroads Church not long ago for a “Miracle for Madeline” benefit. Numerous Coweta County area businesses, along with the Southies and Flood Brothers motorcycle groups, were on hand to help raise money for the family.

The Mitchell McTier Medical Fund has been set up at the Bank of Georgia to help the family again with this new medical crisis involving their son. Contact 770-251-6543 for more information.

Despite these horrible events, the affected families are turning their tragedies into hope for others.

Tonight, the Estes family is holding a fundraiser through their new organization — Can’t Never Could Inc. — in the parish hall at First United Methodist Church of Newnan.

The fundraiser will benefit the Bedford School in Fairburn, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Piedmont Brain Tumor Center. Some of the proceeds will also go into a fund to help local brain tumor patients and their families.

The Bacho family donated little Abby’s organs so that others might live.

They have also set up Abby’s Angels Foundation, which provides school supplies for children in need. On April 19, the family will hold Abby’s Angels Foundation 5K Rainbow Run/Family Fun Day at the Coweta County Fairgrounds. All proceeds will go to the foundation.

These are just a few examples of families that are dealing with tremendous loss showing how their faith keeps them going while at the same time helping others. What an incredible testimony. And for that, we encourage everyone to continue the giving spirit this community is so well-known for and to attend as many of these events as you can.



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