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Joni Killius will have a floor in time for Thanksgiving. She can set a table for her five kids, ages 6, 8, 10, 12, and 19.

Her home, severely damaged by Hurricane Ian in September 2022, is still not fully repaired, but MDS volunteers have made a world of difference for Killius, who is undergoing clinical trials for metastatic malignant melanoma. Her family continues to live in the house, sometimes moving from room to room as the volunteers complete their work.

I can leave for an hour, and I come back, and its like—wow, the volunteers have done so much!” she said.

Killius described how the smallest kind gesture has made a huge difference in her daily life. For a long time, we had a plastic tarp for almost the entire back wall, and we only had the bathtub for running water,” she said. The day the volunteers installed the sink and cabinets, I got a call from the school that my son had an allergic reaction,” she said. I left dishes piled in the bathtub and went to take care of him.”

When she returned, the volunteers had done all the dishes. They also wrote, on the studs framing the bathroom, Proverbs 31: Everyone, near and far, praises the woman of valor.”

Its not only the big repairs but those small things, too,” said Killius. Ive been so surprised at how it feels to be surrounded by love like that. Every inch of this house has been prayed over.”


Susan Kim, MDS Writer 

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