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Hero Central: NLR cancer survivor fights to keep home | News

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Hero Central: NLR cancer survivor fights to keep home

Earlier this week the North Little Rock council voted to condemn Higgs' home and begin talks next week on rehab plans.

But a financial hang-up may not make that possible. A fire last December made Debbie Higgs' home along West 41th Street -- un-liveable.

Since then, she's appealed for help, hitting up vendors at home shows, church and friends, but it simply hasn't been enough.
"The first thing I go into is a panic attack thinking this is my house," says Higgs.

A tough reality for Higgs, at a place she'd love to call home once again. "It's been a very trying and depressing state."

A fire almost a year ago left a charred mess behind; her mattress and granddaughter's crib among the damage. "This is the living room where we're standing now."

Less damage here but piles of debris waiting for clean-up and a generous heart to help.

A disability keeps the four-time cancer survivor from working and affording the rehab bill. Her main source of help so far -- good friend Glenn Starkey.

"Max, I've started with this wall on this ceilings right here, the dining room is done," says Starkey.

Starkey's torn out ceilings and walls, putting his own sweat and monthly social security checks on the line. "I'm giving over 50 percent of my money toward her. I've been buying sheetrock, buying this and buying that and we're trying to get this house back to where it needs to be."

Starkey calls this a personal mission. This past spring -- he took higgs to a home show -- armed with a letter for vendors asking for help. "I handed out my letter introduced who I was tell them where the house was."

One company donated some windows and there's been gift cards from church but they need more heroes to realize these dreams for a happy homecoming. Higgs is currently staying with Starkey.

Along with her cancer battles, she's coping with being legally blind in her right eye and just, she buried her own mother.

If you would like to donate or help Higgs, please call 812-5051 or 613-8012.