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Home of four-year-old battling cancer destroyed by floods

Posted at 2:53 PM, Aug 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-31 21:16:22-04

GLOBE, AZ — If a picture speaks a thousand words, then the images from the towns of Globe and Miami send a loud and clear message of desperation.

“It’s destroyed in here, it overflowed in our sink, pushed out our fridge,” said Jayme Walker through tears. “Everything gone.”

Walker is filled with sadness as she sifts through what's left. The mother of two was living and working at the OYO Hotel in Globe where her mother was the manager. As the skies darkened Wednesday, rain sent a flash flood rushing down the telegraph burn scar. The hotel and its 20 occupants, directly in its path.

“We got everybody from the bottom floor all the way up to the top and kept them up there and told them to stay out of the water just in case anything happens,” said Walker who works the graveyard shift.

She also rushed her own family to safety with her bottom floor home now a disaster zone. The ash-filled mud layering every square inch as it gushed through doors, up sinks, toilets, and bathtubs. Their only home and income are now in jeopardy with the survival of the hotel in question.

“I have a four-year-old who has Leukemia and he pretty much lost all of his medicine, everything we bought for him for his birthday, his money jug jar that we bought for him for when he finished Leukemia, it’s all gone,” said Walker clearly overcome with emotion.

A heart-breaking story and far from the only one. The towns of Miami and Globe suffering together over the past few weeks each time the monsoons move in.

“It’s absolutely heartbreaking to see this and we are so lucky that we have not lost any lives,” said Miami Town Manager Micah Gaudet.

Gaudet says despite the clear need for help, not a single elected state official has visited the devastation. However, it has spawned a community-wide effort of neighbors helping neighbors.

“These are the elected officials that our community has elected to represent them, and when they don’t show up it almost makes us feel like we’re not valued,” said Gaudet.

In the meantime, those hit by floodwaters wonder when state leaders will show up and if it will be too late. Walker says she’s focusing on being strong especially as her four-year-old continues to battle his own formidable foe. Now leaning on the giving spirit of others, asking for any help she can get through a GoFundMe page.

“It’s horrible,” said Walker. “I never thought I’d have to create something like that. We have nowhere else to turn.”