Cancer-stricken family facing eviction can stay, landlord decides

Cancer-stricken family facing eviction can stay, landlord decides »Play Video
KATU photo.

PORTLAND, Ore. - A family struggling with serious medical issues that was facing eviction will now be allowed to stay in their home, thanks to the neighbors who stood up for them and the media attention their story got.

The Weiser-Lilly family has been hit hard - 12-year-old Aly has been fighting a touch-and-go battle with cancer for years and just this past November, her dad, Jeremy, learned that he has a brain tumor.

On top of all that, the family was facing eviction from their apartment in Cedar Hills. The problem? Their landlord said they were too messy and had damaged the apartment. The family did fix the damage and clean up the place, but the landlord was still going to kick them out.

"It's not so much the cleanliness issue," said Melissa Weiser-Lilly. "I go through and clean every day. It's clutter. We have a lot of people in a small space."

Add to that the stress of dealing with two people with cancer and you can see how keeping up with the housework could slide.

Our story first aired on Wednesday and by Thursday, the management company had stepped in to help. Craig McConachie with C&R Real Estate Services said this was the first he had heard of what was happening and after talking with concerned neighbors, he got in touch with the building owners. They all decided the family should be allowed to stay.

"I really felt personally that we had an obligation to let them stay and work through their family issues and medical problems." McConachie said.

"I just fell to the floor," said Melissa. ""It's a huge relief. I feel like there's hope. I'm feeling hopeful and not full of despair. I can sleep tonight - I can actually go to sleep. I had pictured us in the van under the Morrison Bridge - tumor exploding, Aly dying of an infection."

The family is also getting help from a local church - St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church.

"We don't go to church or anything, but they've come into our home and have been helping us keep the house up, keep up on the laundry and have been bringing us food," said Melissa. "The warmth of communities is amazing and humbling."