Elaina Brentnall and Andrea Southhall decided to help Vanderbilt University Hospital's Dr. James Netterville and nurse Georgette Smiley, who were traveling from Nashville to a mission hospital in Nigeria to perform surgeries on children and adults who have head and neck tumors. "We'll do surgery from the time we have light in the morning until the light goes away at night," Georgette says.
Elaina wanted to help Dr. Netterville because he had performed ear surgery on her son and had also helped treat a dear friend diagnosed with oral cancer. Elaina gave her entire $1,000 to the center, and Andrea gave $900. The combined $1,900, Georgette says, will pay for almost half of what is needed to add a new wing onto the clinic. "What an honor to receive this money on behalf of all the wonderful people in Nigeria!" Georgette says.
Andrea gave the remaining $100 to a family who had recently lost their 3-year-old daughter to an inoperable brain tumor. Andrea originally wanted to give it all to the little girl and her family, but she tragically died the day before the The Oprah Show taping. The girl's mother, Melissa Cosby, will use the $100 for expenses or to create a memorial for her little girl. "I miss her very much," Melissa says. "There isn't a day goes by that I don't cry."
The sisters say the challenge has changed their lives. "We can always receive, but when you give, you get so much more in return," Elaina says.