If there is one thing that Jane Sharp believes in, it would be divine intervention. Or at the very least a good nudging by a spiritual presence.
After a diagnosis of breast cancer and inability to stay in the home of her daughter where she had been living, the Boulder City woman has her own newly remodeled home thanks to the generosity and hard work of friends and fellow congregants of Boulder City United Methodist Fellowship.
“This was my vision … but for two or three years down the road,” Jane said as her friends put finishing touches on her home Friday morning. “God is good. Bless my friends.”
The need for Jane to move into her own home came after her first chemotherapy session. She came home to rest and immediately caught the stomach flu and a chest virus from her granddaughters.
“I was out like a light,” Jane said.
And although she loved living with her family — daughter, Janet Boyer, her son-in-law, David Boyer, and their daughters, Laura Jane and Ellie — they were exposed to more illnesses and it was just too much for Jane to battle while going through chemotherapy.
She moved into their travel trailer temporarily, setting it up in the space next door to her friend from church, Leesha Nush.
Leesha, who works professionally as a caregiver, often helped Jane as she watched over her granddaughters. The two became close friends, sharing a bond because both had granddaughters with autism.
Jane moved to Boulder City about five years ago to help care for her oldest granddaughter. She had spent the previous 25 years in California’s Imperial Valley, spending time in Calexico and Mexicali teaching in the Advancement Via Individual Determination program that focused on getting students prepared for college and living in a global society, as well as working with cancer patients.
It was during her conversations with Leesha that she first heard about the home in the trailer park that just needed some TLC.
Once Jane made the decision to purchase the 1959 trailer, Leesha, who had just spent the past three years remodeling her own home, took over.
“It’s out of love, a pass it forward thing,” Leesha said. “I’m just one to jump in, but stay in the background.”
“Besides, she has tools,” added Pat Benke, who also volunteered to help.
Work on Jane’s new home began about three weeks ago, just after Leesha returned from a mission trip where she helped teenagers roof a home.
The Rev. Sandy Johnson, pastor of the church, said when she first heard about the project she “tossed it out to the church” to get some help.
Although Sandy said there isn’t anything she found that Leesha cannot do, transforming the neglected trailer into a livable home in such a short time was more than she could — or should — handle by herself.
“Once I saw the request, I came to do whatever to get it done,” David Paulsen said.
He didn’t come alone. His son Jay also lent his time and skills, as did many other church members.
The entire trailer has been transformed from the ground up. Much of the supplies used were donated by fellow church members or friends, including the flooring and blinds that were salvaged from home remodeling projects.
All of the home’s electrical wiring has been checked and replaced as needed, the bathroom got a new toilet, sink and hand-held shower, a new refrigerator was obtained for the kitchen, and every wall, door, drawer and ceiling was painted.
“The place is practically brand-new,” Jane said. “I will be very comfortable here.”
It was finished the day after Jane’s final chemotherapy session, although she’s still facing 20 radiation treatments.
Saturday morning members of the wrestling team from Boulder City High School helped Jane move her things from storage into her new home, which she will share with her 14-year-old Chihuahua-Dachshund mix, Nava.
“I don’t know how to thank everyone,” she said, adding that Leesha told her a simple “Thank you” will do and it’s OK to accept gifts.
The only thing left for them to do is bless her new home. Sandy said she will bring sage for a traditional ceremony while Pat chimed in “When they were laying the floor the house was well-blessed.”
Hali Bernstein Saylor is editor of the Boulder City Review. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 702-586-9523. Follow @HalisComment on Twitter.