Community rallies for father with cancer at Texas Medical Center

By Samantha Ptashkin - Reporter

HOUSTON - A Tennessee family has arrived at the Texas Medical Center, and family members are hoping Houston doctors can save their father's life.

Jim Cabbage, 49, is a general contractor and has worked for many years building log homes. Last October, a persistent sore back brought him to the doctor's office. He found out he had lymphoma, which is a cancer of the blood.

At first, doctors labeled it a "less aggressive" form of the disease, but after two months his tumor wasn't responding to medicine.

A couple weeks ago, Cabbage's doctors told him and his wife of 13 years, Michele, that they had done all they could for him. Since then, the family has leaned on prayer.

"I say 'Dear God, this is a painful way to die, just please help him get better,'" said 9-year-old son, Jordan Cabbage.

But Cabbage's family and friends aren't giving up.

Over the weekend, Tennessee photographer Pix by Robyn took family photos of Jim, Michele and their twins, Jordan and Bailey. Michele knew it could be the last family photo they ever take.

"I just don't want it to be the last family photo," Michele said, with tears in her eyes.

Then last Sunday, Cabbage's college roommate, JD Inman, showed the photos in a slideshow to church members. The community quickly came together to help by donating a Dierks Bentley and Blake Shelton tour bus to get the family to MD Anderson Cancer Treatment Center in Houston. An online fundraiser has also already helped the family raise more than $5,000. 

"It was just pure shock and surprise," Michele said. 

"He is just a wonderful father," said 9-year-old Bailey. "I love him a lot."

The Cabbage family left for Houston on Tuesday and arrived Wednesday afternoon at MD Anderson. The family members are not quite sure how long they will be here, but as of Wednesday afternoon, Cabbage had a full day of appointments.

If you'd like to help the family, a donation website has been set up.

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