HEISKELL—He’s worked on all 58 homes built by Habitat for Humanity of Anderson County during the past two decades. If his health allows, he’ll work on No. 59.
Tim Myrick, 60, is known for his community involvement, charitable contributions, and key role in the renovation of the Oak Ridge High School and modernization work at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. But now he’s battling prostate cancer. His doctor said it’s the fastest-growing he’s seen. Myrick said it spread to his bones and elsewhere within three months. In December, he was given a year to live.
“I told them that’s not going to happen,” Myrick said during a Habitat for Humanity groundbreaking ceremony this month. “I told them I have too much work to do.”
Habitat is honoring Myrick and his wife Teresa by building a home in their honor on about 1.5 acres on Valley View Lane near East Wolf Valley Road in Heiskell.
“We can’t think of anyone who has worked harder for us for a longer period of time,” said Pat Fain, HFHAC board president.
“The house will be a living monument to the dedication you’ve put in over the years,” said Tennessee Sen. Randy McNally, an Oak Ridge Republican who read a proclamation from Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey at the groundbreaking on Saturday morning, June 7.
The four-bedroom, 1,200-square-foot home will house a family of five: Edward Brown and Amanda Cook and their three children, Alexia, Eddie, and Ethan. They now live in a tight, cramped mobile home in Oliver Springs.
Construction on the new home could start in July and be complete by December.
“It’s been a dream to own (our) own home for a long time,” Edward Brown told roughly 75 people at the groundbreaking.
Habitat and its volunteers were able to raise $30,000 for the tribute within a few days, with $10,000 each from Jim and Mary Ann Hardy, ORNL, and Oak Ridge Associated Universities. They’re trying to raise $100,000 total and need another $20,000 to get there.
The new home will be just around the corner from a house that the Myricks and ORNL helped build in 2001.
Myrick, who remains optimistic despite his cancer, said he’s completed seven rounds of chemotherapy and has another seven to eight rounds to go before he will take a break. He could start a new treatment in the fall or winter.
In the meantime, he wants to continue making a difference in the lives of Anderson County residents, planning to help build one more home for one more family.
“It’s (about) the families,” Myrick said.