CINCINNATI (FOX19) - For many, the upcoming holidays are often the happiest time of the year. But some may not get to celebrate as they normally would.
Erika Long and her husband, James, are among them, prompting her to ask the community for help to make this holiday season a bit brighter.
The request comes just a few weeks after James went to the hospital for pain in his side. The doctor had bad news. He was eventually diagnosed with stage-3 liver cancer.
“I just couldn’t realize, I just couldn’t focus on how could I just be walking around and all of a sudden, I get cancer,” he said.
With the holidays right around the corner, Erika knew she had to do something to lift his spirits.
She posted on the Nextdoor app asking if anyone had any extra Halloween or Christmas decorations she could put up outside their house in the coming weeks.
“Since he’s been diagnosed, I haven’t been able to... just been sticking by his side and taking care of him and stuff like that, along with the phone calls from the doctors and cancer team," Erika said. “I haven’t been able to get out as much and I don’t want to wear him out in the process of shopping.”
She says it could be pumpkins, fall leaves — anything to help brighten the mood.
“Anything that’s light and bright, happy lights and stuff like that," she explained. “That’s really why I went on that post, just to see if you could drop a box off and stuff like that or whatever the case may be. If there’s any glimmer of light that can be shined within my home and the perimeter of my home, I’m up for it.”
James says Christmas is his main holiday.
“Just the lights, just the kids lighting up, opening their presents and seeing the lights and trees and stuff," he said. "You’ll see a child walking down the street, and they’ll stop just to see a light in the window.”
It’s the little things that brings James the most joy.
“The kids come around, the cars pull up, and kids get out, take pictures, and just the lights, things like that children enjoy,” he said.
As someone who constantly puts the community first, whether it’s cooking meals for those in need or helping out at their church, Erika says it’s time her husband sits back and lets the community support him.
“The importance to me is just to keep his spirits up and let him know there is hope and never to lose faith in this time,” said Erika.
“She’s a joy. She’s a Godsend, and that makes her all the more fantastic,” James added.
If you would like to send a decoration over to Erika and James, you can email Erika for her address, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Her cell phone number is 513-704-9977.