Imagine having a child who has battled cancer twice, fighting to keep your kid alive while facing thousands of dollars in medical debt. It’s a struggle one Burleson family knows all too well. But people in North Texas refused to let them fight it alone.
It was just a week ago when Katie Thomson was sharing a room with her brother.
She and her family lived with relatives to make ends meet.
"I remember thinking, I just pray we can find happiness again," her mom Jessica said.
Katie's first battle with leukemia started in 2015.
As she fought to stay alive, her parents' financial battle was just beginning.
About a year later, Katie's cancer went into remission, but in the following months, the leukemia came back.
"It was so hard when Katie relapsed," her mom said. "The hardest part was seeing her struggle and fight again."
Their bills showed no signs of letting up.
The Thomsons' struggles captured the hearts of people across North Texas, inspiring dozens of people to donate to RIP Medical Debt, a nonprofit that pays off medical debt for strangers at a fraction of the cost.
"I'm just a citizen. I saw their story. It touched my heart. And I thought, how can I get involved," Linda Hastings said.
She called her friends in construction to help finish this home for Katie and her family.
Over the last three months, local business owners sent out crews to their land in Burleson.
"I remember thinking, will I ever get to take her there? Will she ever live in that home? And I remember praying, just praying," her mom said.
But North Texans stepped up.
Last week, Katie and her family were finally able to move in.
"I really like it. It's better than I even thought it would be," Katie said.
The bills are still coming, but the Thomsons are choosing to ignore them.
"We're not allowing them to steal our praise or our joy," her mother explained.
Because at this moment, their home and Katie’s happiness is all that matters.
"I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me," Katie said. "It just reminds me that I can do anything with God's help."
Katie's cancer is currently in remission.
There's still some work to be done at her new home, but the family tells NBC 5 they're just happy to be all moved in.
Katie’s story has inspired so many of viewers to take action and take on this medical debt crisis.
People in our area have donated enough to pay off more than $20 million in medical debt for people in our area.
If you'd like to join the movement, click here.