The Odessa Record -

By Linda Goodman
The Odessa Goodman 

"Community" means everything in a small town


Last updated 2/25/2020 at 1:04pm

ODESSA — Life in a small town varies a bit from the city; it’s a bit slower.

Rather than running to Wal-mart or McDonalds on the spur of the moment, you usually have to plan ahead.

But one major upside to a small town is the sense of community that rises to meet adversity.

Here, you have a community that will back you every step to the way in most situations.

If you have lived in or around the area for any length of time, you would be hard pressed not to know Heaven Hicks by sight, if not by name.

Hers was a long-time bright and smiling face that greeted you when you went to the grocery store.

Hicks has six children — Jeremiah, 15, Xavier, 14, twins Dominic and Nathaniel, 11, Serenity, 10 and Naveah, 7 — who are just as exuberant as she is.

Recently Heaven and her family have hit a rough spot.

Daughter Naveah needs a tonsillectomy. Son Xavier has problems with his blood work that the doctors don’t quite understand and is being monitored closely, her oldest, Jeremiah, has been diagnosed with a brain tumor.

And Heaven herself needs a hysterectomy due to precancerous cells which indicated a likelihood for cervical cancer (she is scheduled for this week).

Although insurance should cover most of the medical expenses, there are still lost wages, child care, gas to get to and from appointments, groceries, etc.

When Odessa teacher HaLee Walter heard about all this, she decided to try and do something to help ease the Hicks’ situation and anxiety.

For Walter’s own birthday, she started a Facebook Fundraiser and asked for donations for the Hicks family.

Donations will be sent to Odessa Community Ministerial Association, which will work with the Hicks family. Her initial goal of $400 was broken three times within 24 hours and four times within 48 hours.

She has now raised the goal a total of six times with the new goal being $6,840, and she is just over halfway to it. The total is $3,700 with still a week to go.

Jeremiah had an appointment with a doctor this week and has been diagnosed with a Hemangioma tumor, a tumor made up of blood vessels. It’s not attached to Jeremiah’s brain, but is located below further into his head. It isn’t cancerous, but he will need to have an angiogram and a percutaneous venous embolization.

On her fundraiser, Walter wrote, “In the craziness of all this, this is relatively good news. Thank you for all of the prayers. They are working!”

To donate, visit


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