Saturday, December 29, 2012 1:09 AM
Husband stays by wife's side in cancer battle
Woman hospitalized but moved by special white Christmas gift
By Rochelle Moore | Times Staff Writer
Laurie Pearson was able to enjoy snow on her front lawn for a couple days before an infection set in and she was admitted to Wilson Medical Center on Christmas Eve.
Her husband, Kevin, who made Laurie’s wish of a white Christmas in Wilson come true, has remained at her side as she continues to battle a fever.
Her fever continued Friday and Kevin told The Wilson Times he’s concerned about her recovery but remains hopeful.
"She’s not getting any better,” he said. "She’s actually worse. My concern is getting her well and getting her home.”
Kevin’s gift to Laurie last Saturday — the delivery of four tons of snow — has received national recognition, with news outlets across the state and nation publishing The Wilson Times’ story about Laurie Pearson’s white Christmas, the only gift she said she really wanted this year.
Laurie has been battling cancer for almost two years and in August was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer.
TODAY News, of "The Today Show,” published the story on its website Friday and the story, along with a Wilson Times’ photo, was prominently displayed on the www.today.com website.
"I’ve had quite a few phone calls and on Wednesday, I got a call from today.com,” Kevin said, who granted NBC’s Today News an interview.
Kevin was told that "The Today Show” will consider using the story on a future broadcast but no guarantee was made.
"He said there’s a possibility of a show but I haven’t heard back,” he said.
When Kevin, his sister and others pulled together to give Laurie a white Christmas, Kevin said he never expected the story to go beyond Wilson.
"I think it’s great that the story has gone national,” he said. "It’s everywhere. It never crossed my mind. I never thought anything like this would happen.”
A shorter version of Monday’s Wilson Times’ story started showing up in newspapers by Christmas Eve and continued through the week. On Monday, a reporter with North Carolina’s WITN news channel visited Kevin and broadcast a story that showed patches of snow on the Pearson lawn Monday.
Laurie started feeling sick Sunday evening and was later admitted to Wilson Medical Center on Christmas Eve where she has remained since that time. Despite her illness, Laurie has mentioned how much the gift of snow made this year her best Christmas ever.
"She’s probably talked more about that than anything else,” Kevin said.
Snow My Yard, based in Raleigh, visited the Pearson home Saturday and surprised Laurie with four tons of snow created after bags of ice were pumped into a snow-blowing machine.
When she first arrived at the house, she couldn’t understand why an ice truck was in her driveway. Then, she saw the snow and family and friends who gathered to celebrate Christmas and make the day one to remember.
Snow My Yard, owned by Greater Raleigh Refrigeration, cut the price of the snow delivery from $3,000 to $350 because of the extraordinary circumstances. The Pearsons home was the only place in Wilson covered with snow as temperatures remained in the 50s.
Shortly after the story was published in The Wilson Times on Monday, Kevin started receiving requests for interviews. He hasn’t been able to answer a lot of the phone calls because he’s been focused on his wife’s condition this week.
"She’s still running a fever,” he said on Friday. "The doctor’s optimistic that’s she’s going to be OK. I hope so.”
Laurie tested negative for the flu but contracted a viral infection due to her weakened immune system, Kevin said. She was first diagnosed with cancer in February 2011 but treatment for breast cancer and colorectal cancer sent her into a six-month remission. In August, the cancer returned into other areas of her body, in her brain and bones. She has continued to receive treatment and is optimistic that the cancer may once again go into remission.
Kevin was waiting Friday to hear more from Laurie’s physician about her current sickness. Laurie’s Christmas gifts are still under the tree at home.
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