CHESAPEAKE, Va. - A Chesapeake church took action to make a dream come true for a terminally ill mother and her family.
Chemotherapy, radiation and extremes amounts of pain have been the reality for Shelli Carrington after being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015.
Thursday, News 3 met up with her at Chesapeake Regional Medical Center while she was being treated for an infection.
She said she hopes to get out of the hospital soon.
“It’s been hard. I’m not going to sit here and tell you it’s been easy. I’ve had a lot of support, but it’s a lot of pain,” said Carrington.
She said she has received support from her loved ones and the people at Vertical Church, a church community she found when she moved to the area.
“Everyone was so welcoming. Everything was so down to earth,” said Carrington.
Over the summer, Carrington posted online that the one thing on her bucket list was to take her family to Disney World.
She said she didn’t get much traction online and didn’t think the trip was going to happen, but members of the church saw her post and took action to help her.
“One thing led to another and we just said, 'This is what we’re going to do this Christmas,'” said Josh Butcher, Lead Teaching Pastor.
Church leaders said they decided that the Christmas Offerings collected this holiday season will be put towards funding a trip for Shelli, her 11-year-old son and two grown children.
Carrington said, “I’ve always been a single mom. I’ve been the one to do for us. I was shocked when I heard what they were doing.”
She wasn’t expecting it and the parishioners were excited to help.
“It’s been really fun to see the light in people's eyes,” said the lead organizational pastor. “It’s really exciting.”
Pastors admit there are plenty of things they could use the money for to help the church.
“There is nothing that we could put into savings that’s going to match the blessing experience that we’re going to get when they go on this trip and they come back and there’s just such joy,” said Butcher.
A church embracing the true meaning of Christmas to help one of their own.
They just started collecting donations on Sunday and hope to raise $10,000.
They said they've already raised about $2,000.
They said the money collected that is not used for the trip will go towards a scholarship for Shelli's 11-year-old son.
If you are interested in helping, click here.