Part Two: Support For Flood and Cancer Fighting Family
NEAR JACKSON, NE - Almost one year after the flood that devastated Siouxland. KMEG 14 is checking back with the families that lost almost everything.
In part one of this story, we introduced you to Larry and Rita Legg in Dakota County, NE. They lost their retirement home in the flood. They had no flood insurance and rebuilding wasn't an option. Then, Larry was diagnosed with colon cancer.
In this second and final part, the couple is turning things around with a helping hand from friends and family.
"I wish I could've drank a lot of whiskey and smoke a lot of Palmas, but... unfortunately that wasn't going to happen. So we just dealt with it, my wife and I did what we had to do to survive," said Larry Legg.
The Leggs found one bright piece in a very dark puzzle. Their garage stayed dry during the flood.
"While I was in the hospital having cancer surgery, some friends and relatives come in and they put in a kitchen area and a dining room and brought in some cabinets and my wife painted it up and decorated it," said Larry.
The garage is a small space, though. Plus, there was absolutely no closet space for the couple. So Larry did some digging.
He found a modular classroom from the Hinton school district. Larry wanted to build a new place for him and Rita, but money was tight, especially with his cancer bills.
"Financially it's a total 100 percent disaster because one: we had the cost of trying to save the old structure, which is considerable with sand and sandbags and then all of the moving around that we've done and the cost to re-do the garage here and bring in another house," Larry described.
Friends and family saw how much they were suffering and decided to pitch in. They organized a benefit and raised enough money to build a new home. Now they can start over.
"When it comes in, we're gonna have to re-do almost the whole thing inside and out. The windows won't be in the right spot and my wife has been laying the rooms out to where she would like them," said Larry.
For Rita, it's been a very tough journey.
"Brown is the colon cancer," she said, referring to her bracelet.
She wears a cancer bracelet everyday to remind her to be strong while she and her husband put the pieces back together.
"Things this last year have been tough for 11 months now past the flood and we're hoping it'll straighten around this year," said Larry.
Larry is going through chemotherapy and radiation right now. He says the doctors think they have a handle on his colon cancer.
As for their new modular home, it should be on the ground in a couple of weeks.