'He was amazed’: Veteran with cancer gets new deck thanks to community

Family of veteran with cancer gets new deck

HENRICO, Va. (WWBT) - The family of a Henrico Marine Corps veteran is thanking the community for the response in helping fulfill their loved one’s wish.

In January Kevin Maze, 61, was diagnosed with stage four esophageal cancer with metastasis to his liver.

Due to his diagnosis Maze was unable to fix his rotting deck himself, which is why his sister, Melissa Seiler contacted 12 On Your Side.

“He prides his house, his property, his car,” she said in June. “He has pride in that. Knowing that it is in disrepair really bothers him.”

On June 17, roughly a week and a half after Maze’s story aired, he passed away.

"Whoever may be here next will be able to enjoy it (the deck) as much as he and Jane did," Seiler said.

Repairing Maze’s deck, a place where he spent countless hours with his late wife feeding the squirrels, was one of his last wishes. Thursday, it was fulfilled.

“Even though we’re not directly helping Kevin at this point we’re still helping his family,” said James Roberson, Executive Director of 516 Project. “[We’re] still able to make a difference in their lives, so to us that’s still a win.”

516 Project was one of the dozens of non-profits, contracting companies and community members who offered to help Maze.

“He was amazed,” Seiler said. “He was very taken back at first. [He couldn’t] believe we had that much response.”

Seiler went with the non-profit based on a connection she felt described Kevin as best as possible.

"It's based off of Matthew 5:16 which states, essentially, go forth and shine your light in the world,” she said. “That was kind of Kevin's thing too."

“The whole point of our ministry is to love and serve people,” Roberson said. “So when my friend sent me the story y’all did… you could tell this was a serious need that they had to be able to take care of their family member.”

With the help of Fabling Built, the once rotted wood was pitched for something brand new.

“We ask the question what can I do,” said Casey Fabling, owner of Fabling Built. “Is there something I can do? It’s always helpful when there’s something that we know that we can do, that we’re able to do it.”

The project was also a teaching opportunity.

“We’re using this as an opportunity to train one of our apprentices and one of our foremen just to give them a clear understanding of this is how you do this,” Fabling said.

The completed deck (Source: James Roberson)
The completed deck (Source: James Roberson) (Source: James Roberson)

While Kevin won’t be able to enjoy this new deck, his family is grateful for the community response.

“It just shows that our community is really there,” Seiler said. “That people truly do care about others. It refreshes your feeling about humanity.”

Per Maze’s request, his family plans to sell the house in the future, but not without enjoy the deck in Maze’s memory first.

“I know he’s smiling,” Seiler said. “I know he’s smiling and he’s happy.”

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