The Story of Brianna Graves
It is not an everyday occurrence when God places the most desperate and deserving in the lives of so many people in a small West Texas town. 15 miles southeast of Lubbock in Slaton, Texas is a young woman lying in a special bed who is hooked to a respirator for every breath and moment of life. Despite the efforts of loving grandparents and parents, Brianna Graves lies in a converted garage for a room. Bri only wants what any young girl in high school or college dreams – a room of her own that has some separation from the rest of the house….just some privacy.
Bri’s case started when she was a nine year old girl playing basketball. During a game she broke a bone, but instead of healing, something really went wrong. Bri is now a quadriplegic and cannot move or breathe without assistance. You see, Brianna Graves has an incurable disease of which less than 200 people reported in medical literature suffer, something called Gorham’s Disease, or Vanishing Bone Disease. The bad news is that Bri will die, but the good news is that Bri will get her wish for her own room.
The Interim Healthcare Foundation had just been organized and barely conducted its first business meeting when a need was brought to the board by Josh Reglin, Chaplain for Interim Hospice in Lubbock, Texas. Josh, along with Bri’s nursing and social worker team, plus a very committed local couple, asked for assistance to build Bri her room. Thanks to the efforts of Ty and Sharla Askew of Tahoka, Texas, the “fire” was started to get Bri her wish.
The Interim Healthcare Foundation Board was emotionally touched and, although there were limited funds in this new foundation, a gift of $3,000.00 was given to set up a new fund just for Bri’s House at Citizens Bank of Slaton, Texas. Before “the sun could set,” meetings, calls, emails, and text messages were exchanged, and finally a luncheon was held in Slaton to finalize the plans. Due to the outcry of Bri’s story, and at little or no cost, builders, electricians, plumbers, painters, concrete workers, and local volunteers responded and started the house in the backyard of her grandparents.
Bri will get her privacy and small things such as a sink, a kitchen, a storage closet and large windows and paint on the walls with her favorite color. Yes, Bri is on a ventilator and is paralyzed from her neck to her toes. However, these things bring some small sense of normalcy back to her life.
Our Board tells this story because Bri has agreed to be our “spokesperson” in life and subsequently in her death. Hospice is requested when healthcare providers and families agree that efforts must be instituted to provide a compassionate approach to end-of-life care, The reality that Bri and so many others face is a difficult one. That is why hospice care is determined to help people with serious illness live life fully, maintain their dignity, and keep control over their lives.
Our Foundation believes we have a mission to educate the public and healthcare providers that hospice is not necessarily about death but life. Our Vision states ”… that every person and family in our service area, faced with an end-of-life illness, would be aware of and have access to dignity, comfort and compassion in an environment of their choice." Our Goal “…is to transform dying into the final act of living life. We are dedicated to improving end-of-life care for people in the communities we serve.”
Please join our Foundation in following Bri’s progress on our Facebook and Twitter pages with our new video of interviews with Bri, her mom, and the Interim Hospice team caring for her. It is our prayer that, not only will you pray for Bri, but you will consider a financial gift to benefit others in her name.
Bri’s Miracle from God’s Servants
When you turn on the TV or pick up the paper it seems all we see are stories about ugly matters of politics, deaths, wrecks, murders, or natural disasters. If we were to deduce the state of our community from the news it would seem pretty gloomy. So when a story like this comes along, we are reminded of just what amazing things can happen. With the help of the Foundation and loving servants in Lubbock, Slaton, and Tahoka Texas, the folks of the South Plains do what they do best – RESCUE the less fortunate. Our Foundation and the leadership of Interim Hospice want to convey to the world through this web page that Bri is getting her wish. The following contractors, vendors and just plain ole’ Christian folks did exactly what Christ asked them to do: “Love Your Neighbor”, “Serve Your Fellow Man” and “Take Care of the Less Fortunate.” All of these great Texas folks sought no acclamation or attention. They heard Bri’s story and gave of their own businesses and their own time to build a special room for a young woman who is dying of an incurable disease.
The businesses and men listed are the key Dream Makers for Bri. We want to thank every business and person for donating wood, concrete, appliances, roofing material, as well as the roofers, plumbers, electricians, and everyone listed who built this house for her. You heard the plea and you responded. As a Foundation board we like to think that these men and businesses have won a place in the heart of Bri, her family, and that of our heavenly Father for saying Yes, not only to Bri but to God.
Thank you for the heart of a grateful board, family and friends:
Destiny Homes – Jasper Jowers; www.destinyhomeslubbock.com
Sharla & Ty Askew
Brian Drum Plumbing
Manual Martinez Concrete
Innovative Designs – Tyler Dirks; www.designsinnovative.com
DSL Electric – Dan Halloway
Advanced Cube Insullation
Joe Williamson and crew
Brad Melcher Framing
Best Buy - Lubbock
Hurst Farm Supply
Anderson Custom Window Coverings - Sandra Anderson
Lubbock Master Gardeners
Stock Building Supply
Pete Zuniga, Raymond Lara
McDonalds – Slaton
Denise & Junior Buxkemper
John Baker – Greenstreet, Inc.
Casey Brewer – Davidson-Taylor Salon & Spa
Benny Peralez Painting
Home Depot – 50th Street
82nd Street Café
First Bank & Trust
Citizens Bank – Slaton
Midwest Reproduction Co., Inc.
Ryan Mayfield - My Mac Tek
News Stories & Articles About Bri's Story
- The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal wrote an article in April, 2011 about Bri's Story. If you would like to read the article click here.
- Below is the link to the story that Karin McCay did on the 10 o’clock news during “HealthWise.”
The Amarillo Independent wrote an article on April 23, 2012 about Bri's Story. Below is the story.
Have any of you had a “There but for the grace of God, go I” moment? Or several in your lifetime?
I am sure we all have.
But the one I want to tell you about is not about one of my moments. It’s about a brave 23-year-old woman who lives in Slaton, Texas, and who has embraced her fate through faith and, in so doing, elevated the faith of two communities.
Brianna Graves is gravely ill. She has a disease fewer than 200 people have ever had documented in the world’s medical literature. Ever since an injury at age 9 — an injury while playing basketball that would normally be an inconsequential fracture — Brianna’s bones have been weakening and vanishing...Click Here to Read More
Your Gift to Interim Healthcare Foundation Makes a Difference
Giving to Interim Healthcare Foundation “Makes a Difference.” You give because You Care, You Want to Share, You Believe in the Hospice Mission, or perhaps You Have Been Touched with Your Own Story.
Terminal disease and illness can strike any of us at any minute. From the time of feeling an unwanted physical pain to a doctor communicating you have a terminal disease, life, mortality, family, love, and hope can become shattered. When it does, every family, regardless of their socio-economic condition, will have different medical and social needs for their friend or family member.
Your generosity helps Interim Healthcare Foundation sustain needs of patients and families who might not be able to pay a basic electricity bill due to the huge healthcare costs that can wipe out a personal fortune in a short period of time. When that happens, they turn to our Foundation for help to fill in this financial gap.
Through our Foundation, your donation can help many organizations at one time, making it possible for critical end-of-life services to remain available to the family and patient. As a result, those who are at the end of life, young and old, and their families and friends who care for them, will be able to find help they want and need.
There are many ways, at many levels, in which tax-deductable charitable contributions can be made to support hospice through our Hospice Foundation.
The interim Healthcare Foundation is an independent, non-profit, 501 (c) (3) organization that depends on contributions from the community to fulfill its mission. We always appreciate: •Volunteer Time •Deferred Gifts •Cash Gifts •Gifts of Property •Memorial Gifts (in lieu of flowers at a funeral) •Wills & Bequests •In-Kind Gifts •Fundraising: We are always looking for new ways to increase donations for hospice education and hospice programs. If you have ideas and would like to share them, please contact us.
2 Corinthians 9: 6-15
6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 9 As it is written:
“They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.”
10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.
12 This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. 13 Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. 14 And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. 15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!
Unless otherwise requested, your gift will be recognized in our quarterly newsletter Visions of the Soul. The amount of the gift is recognized in terms of giving level, or name only if you choose. Exact dollar amounts are never revealed.
Levels of Giving
|Gift of Encouragement||$25 - $100|
|Gift of Remembrance||$100 - $500|
|Gift of Honor||$500 - $1500|
|Gift of Everlasting Love||$1500 - $5000|
|Gift of Eternal Memory||$5000 and up|
Thank you! Your Gift is Appreciated
Your gift qualifies as a charitable deduction, and you will receive a gift receipt for your tax records. If your gift is sent to honor or remember someone, that person and his or her family receive a personalized letter indicating the Foundation has received a gift in his or her name. Gift amounts are always kept confidential
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