I am writing everyone about an amazing family that has volunteered and helped in our community countless times, who have now been devastated by the Mendocino Complex Fires (River Fire) in Lakeport and by Cancer.
The Vaughan Family, Steve Jr, Rachel, and their children Steve III (Rex) and Marissa Jo have lived in the Yuba-Sutter area for many years, and Rachel is a local girl. They have recently started the process of moving to Oregon, selling their house in Marysville and purchasing a new home in Oregon. This month they were supposed to move.
Instead life happened. Last month, Steve’s Dad, Steve Sr, was diagnosed with Stage 4 Lung Cancer. Steve and Rachel decided it was fortunate that they had already begun the process of moving to Oregon and instead left the majority of their belongings in storage in Marysville and moved to Lakeport to care for his Dad.
Steve Sr has been a resident of Lakeport for over 40 years. He built his home on the mountains overlooking Lakeport with his own hands, with his late wife, Joanne. The plan had been for him to remain in his home while receiving Cancer Treatment in Santa Rosa. On July 10th he underwent surgery to put a rod in his femur as his Doctors were concerned about the weakness of his femur. He became ill shortly after his surgery and was hospitalized at Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital where he was expected to be released Saturday, July 29th.
Instead of being released Steve Jr and Rachel had to contact the hospital and inform them of the evacuation orders. Steve Sr remained hospitalized at Sutter Santa Rosa while Steve Jr, Rachel and their kids begin taking steps to evacuate. Steve Jr had the task of calling his Dad to tell him that instead of coming to pick him up, they were evacuating and what did he want saved. Rachel and Marissa Jo packed everything he wanted in addition to anything else they could. Steve Jr and Rex began efforts to safe the house. His Dad had started clearing out brush months ago, and Steve Jr had continued those efforts. They now utilized a fire pump to soak the house and surrounding land and cleared out everything they could. With the help of family friends and LEAP the animals were safely evacuated, and his Dad’s vehicles and boat were moved down the hillside in an effort to save them. Fortunately Steve was able to return and get his Dad’s truck and boat out, leaving behind his late mothers truck.
Unfortunately, while the efforts to save the truck and other small items moved away from the house worked, the house on the mountainside was completely destroyed.
What was once a beautiful redwood home is gone. The plans that had been put in place destroyed as well.
Currently Steve Sr and Steve Jr are staying in a hotel in Santa Rosa to be close to his Doctors and Cancer treatment. They aren’t sure how long they will be in the hotel but with the cancer treatments being critical, they are expecting to be there for weeks.
The Vaughan Family has always helped others when asked and tried to be active in the communities they live in. I would like to give back to them now.
The goal is to raise money to help with the cost of their unexpected hotel stay; with costs of gas as they travel between Santa Rosa and Lakeport and Marysville; and for any medical costs accrued.
Anything is appreciated, even prayers.