Volunteers strap on hazmat suits to clean up Pinson woman’s home

local stories

PINSON, Ala. (WIAT) — Does a pen really have power?

“I just feel incredibly blessed and I’m so thankful,” said Randa Ragland, a Pinson resident.

Her story might just answer that very question.

Almost two weeks ago, she received a letter in the mail which called her home and yard an “eyesore” and demanded that she “do better.”

Something better certainly happened to Ragland.

“To see all these strangers come together for my family, it’s just amazing,” she said.

That letter, penned with an intent to shame, helped share her story with world.

Almost all of Ragland’s spare time has been devoted to her three-year-old son, Jaxen, who is currently battling stage four cancer. Hence, why her yard has not been a top priority.

Ragland posted the letter to Facebook, and it went viral. Dozens arrived at her home last week and jumped into action. Some rushed to the store to pick up supplies for her family. Others pitched in to tidy up her yard.

But Saturday, it all went to a whole new level.

“It’s pretty critical to get her house clean,” said Jason Betts, a volunteer who works in mold remediation. Betts tells CBS 42 that he identified parts of her basement that have mold and other unsanitary substances, which Ragland believes may be having an adverse effect on Jaxen.

“After chemo, he had got (sic.) bronchitis, pneumonia and the flu, and now we’re realizing that it very well came from the mold,” said Ragland.

“It doesn’t matter if we live in it or [Ragland’s family] live[s] in it or anybody else lives in it, mold is pretty critical,” said Betts.

As a result, Betts and a few dozen volunteers arrived at Ragland’s home Saturday wearing hazmat suits and breathing masks to deep clean the basement and remove debris that appeared to have mold.

Two weeks ago, these volunteers had no idea who Ragland was, but they told CBS 42 that they felt compelled to go the extra mile because of Jaxen. Because of that rude note penned in ink.

So, does a pen actually have power?

“This is literally helping Jaxen’s health and his treatment plan and his journey,” said Ragland.

You bet it does.

The Go Fund Me page raising money to assist with Jaxen’s medical bills has now exceeded $20,000. Donations of clothes and school supplies are still being accepted.

All of the support received by the Ragland family thus far has come through donations and volunteers. Bento’s Construction provided the hazmat suits and masks, Dillon’s Dirt Cheap Excavating donated a garbage trailer, and Buddy’s Tree Service provided a team of volunteers to assist with the cleanup.

Ragland told CBS 42 that Jaxen’s doctors are encouraging her to move due to the condition of the house. Anyone that might be able to rent a four bedroom property is encouraged to reach out to Kimberly Quick at kadavis.1968@gmail.com.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories

CBS 42 Community Events

More CBS 42 Community Events