Widow’s Story Takes A New Turn Thanks To Sparkt Family


The email came in early this morning .Marty. You are amazing!!!! Ryan is coming out. I can’t thank you enough!”

Cathy’s e-mail broke through like a sunny day in Pittsburgh. What a relief! Truth is, Cathy McKeever’s path has not been such an easy one. We showed you Cathy’s home last week.

There are holes in the second-floor ceilings.

The roof rotted… most ceilings on the second floor of the home collapsed…a plea for help. Her husband of 32 years died a few days after Christmas. She wrote:

“He was 68 when he died this past December 28th. The roof is in dire need of needing replaced as the ceilings in 3 of our 4 bedrooms have collapsed.”

Previous story: Strangers Ready To Make A Difference For Desperate Widow

She was right. We walked through the home. We had a roofer promise help. We had donors promise help. Realtor Hoddy Hanna offered help immediately. However as we looked closer, fixing the home just doesn’t make sense. The home is full of black mold. It’s a health hazard. We knew we had to get Cathy out of there.

Cathy in the first floor kitchen where leaking water has created mold in the walls.

In steps Ryan Shedlock from Howard Hanna. I’m serious. I’ve never seen anything quite like this. He writes: “Cathy’s story inspired me to help personally in any way possible. Cathy’s story is saddening because she is a kind and loving person.who happened to travel down a difficult path.”

Ryan jumped into action. We all decided selling Cathy’s home in a hot real estate market is the best option. Moving her out of an unhealthy environment is the best decision. With his own money Ryan sent dozens of storage containers to Cathy’s home. He also sent people to help her pack them.

Ryan is sure Cathy’s house, on a nice, quiet street, will sell despite the repairs it needs.

There’s more. Ryan found her an apartment to move into immediately. He has people who will help her move. There’s more. We’ll all make certain Cathy as enough money to pay her rent until her house sells and she has money in the bank. For Cathy… desperation and despair turned into overwhelming joy in less than 48 hours. Says Ryan:

“With the help of Marty..the viewers and supporters..and Howard Hanna…we will ensure she is safe and secure. Our goal is to make Cathy feel comfortable knowing she can lean on us while she establishes a new chapter in her life.”

Simply put…Cathy is blown away. “I am truly blessed,” writes Cathy. Four words. Brief…but beautiful. Think about it. A week ago Cathy was alone. Her husband was gone. She was scared. Her home was literally collapsing around her. She had no way out.
Today, she has hope. She has a future. She has a whole new family of friends…people who didn’t know her name a few days ago. Sometimes I have to rub my eyes…pinch myself..just to make certain the greatness of strangers is so real.

This time it’s a realtor named Ryan and the Howard Hanna family. Could it be you the next time? Certainly! I see it every day here At Sparkt.

About Marty Griffin
Marty is a past recipient of three prestigious Regional Emmys for Outstanding Investigative Reporting and also won a Broadcast Achievement Award for an undercover story about Michael Irvin and the Dallas Cowboys. He was named the Best Talk Show Host in Pittsburgh in 2008 for the Pittsburgh Achievement in Radio Awards. Marty shakes things up weekdays 9 am to noon on KDKA Radio.

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