Local Girl Suffering Rare Brain Tumor, Family Foreclosed On

By: Elizabeth Prann Email
By: Elizabeth Prann Email

As you prepare to sit down with your family and give thanks, you may try to remember a local family who, despite hard times, is thankful for each new day with their daughter.

Amber Howard appears to be an average teenager but in reality, there is at tumor resting on her brain stem and her health fluctuates.

"It's the hardest thing you can ever do to see her hooked up and have to think she'll always have to deal with it. You want your children to have a good life. You don't want them to have to worry about anything," said Shawn Howard, whose daughter is suffering from a brain tumor.

The journey began in April 2008 shortly after she was diagnosed with Ganglioglioma. The doctors went in to remove the tumor but Shawn said it was a subtotal resurrection and doctors were only able to get 20-25%.

That 25 % regrew less than 9 months later.

Time isn't on the Howard family's side and they have foreclosure papers to prove it. In September they were served with papers, telling the family of 4, they had to be out of their spacious 3 bedroom home. After multiple denials from government programs the family now lives in a two bedroom apartment.

"We decided our best option right now would be to let the house go and take care of our daughter. It's hard, it's a transition but compared to what she has to go through, when you see her hooked up to the drugs and the machines, it's really a small sacrifice," Neil Howard said.

Shawn can't work, she must home school Amber and take her to Gainesville once a week for treatments. Amber needs to refrain from large crowds due to her weakened immune system, but none of this breaks the family's spirits.

And one thing they're all looking forward to, is the holidays, together, as a family, at home.

Shawn said the family is so thankful Amber is home and not in the hospital. And Neil adds, "when you wake up, even if it's in a small apartment, even if it's in a tent. You really don't care. Just as long as she slept through the night and woke up... That's a good day."

If you'd like to help, there is an "Amber Howard" fund set up at People's First Bank.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Shawn Howard on Sep 21, 2011 at 10:04 PM
    The banks got help and i guess that is all that matter.The banks are the winner...and we have no home!
  • by AM Mills Location: Seagrove Beach on Dec 10, 2009 at 07:22 AM
    My heart goes out to the Howard family. They have their priorities in the right place by focusing on their daughter, and with a little help, everything else will fall into place. I pray that they receive the love and support of many from our community. I know I will be one.
  • by Mike Location: PCB on Dec 6, 2009 at 10:31 AM
    Med school, internships, malpractice insurance, payroll and benefits for staff etc. That is why doctors are so expensive. That's life. If you want to help this family donate to them directly. To many people say "someone should do something"; this is lib speak for the government should do something. Personally I prefer to donate my money to those that need it not Washington.
  • by Haven Guy Location: lynn haven on Dec 1, 2009 at 12:58 PM
    You can complain about doctors makeing too much money, but I bet you would not want to be treated by a "cheap" doctor. As for the morgage company, the fact is there are thousands of families that have medical problems if these companies would just forget about their morgages, then they would have to charge the rest of us a higher intrest rate and then you would complain about that too.
  • by Opinionated Location: Florida on Nov 29, 2009 at 07:37 AM
    Unless you know how the banking process works,the statement "the banks do this stuff" isn't totally fair.No one goes in buying a home thinking, well if my child gets a brain tumor later the bank will let us keep our home. The bank doesn't have a clause that says if something terrible happens in your family, let us know and we'll just give you your home. There is only so much a bank can do and still stay within the law.It's hard to hear and it sucks but in the end it's a business agreement between buyer and mortgagtor.The same thing would be happening whether it was a car or credit card in default. No one family deserves to lose their home. Is it fair? NO. If you want to help them then offer gas money, buy a few groceries,buy a christmas gift,remember this child in your prayers tonight or donate a few dollars to the account set up.
  • by Tina Location: pc on Nov 28, 2009 at 04:30 PM
    GMAC MORTGAGE LLC you can look up his name on bay county court site, sad the banks do this stuff.
  • by Brian Location: Panama City on Nov 27, 2009 at 08:49 PM
    All of you whiners complaining about how this family is being treated should simply donate to their cause. Mortgage companies are not charities. Don't expect them to act like one. Doctors are in business. Don't expect them to act like charities either. If you are so critical of them, why not start your own mortgage company or become a doctor YOURSELF? See how long you last being charitable. You'll be out of business within 6 months. I guess it's easier to just sit behind your computer and complain rather than donate to this family, start your own charitable business, or become a charitable doctor yourself.
  • by joe Location: USA on Nov 27, 2009 at 07:48 PM
    Yep, everyone should be treated the same no matter there condition is, if you can't afford it, then don't buy it or expect anyone else to pay for it.
  • by Larry Boy Location: P.C. on Nov 27, 2009 at 05:50 PM
    We would really like to know the name of the mortgage Co. Do this area a favor and post the name of the company, everyone deserves to know.
  • by debbyar Location: PC on Nov 27, 2009 at 05:31 AM
    Banks ought not be able to foreclose on someone who has such serious illness and medical bills affecting their incomes. I want to know which mortgage company did this.
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