Faith without works is dead. So when Dustin James saw his pastor’s little girl suffering with Leukemia, he put his faith into action.
Last Spring, James went on a mission to find five-year-old Kaelyn Adams an affordable home that was safe enough for a little girl with a compromised immune system—infections are life-threatening for Kaelyn. When the search turned up fruitless, he launched Project Kaelyn to build the family a house from the ground up.
“We decided we would raise support to build a home,” James says. “Most of our help came from contractors and subcontractors that donated time and material to build the house. Local churches also pitched in and helped on the weekends.”
The Keller Williams Monroe market center offered a helping hand. Chuck Roberts, team leader of the Monroe market center, says James approached him with passion in his voice and a total commitment in his heart to make Project Kaelyn happen. Roberts called a meeting to start planning the massive project the next morning.
“This is the kind of person that Dustin James is everyday inside and outside of our market center,” Roberts says. “He is one very awesome guy that makes all of us want to be better. He is constantly helping us do just that without even realizing just how big an impact he has on everyone around him.”
The Adams family purchased the land in a subdivision less than an hour away from St. James Hospital where Kaelyn undergoes treatments. The four-bedroom home includes a special air filter system—with double filtering for Kaelyn’s room. The entire house is designed to keep bacteria at an absolute minimum, including a water system that filters water coming into the house and a reverse osmosis drinking water fountain for Kaelyn. Kaelyn is currently in remission, but continues to undergo treatments.
“The reason why we built the home here is because, according to our doctors at St. Jude, if Kaelyn contracts a fever we have to get her to the hospital and have antibiotics started within an hour or it could be fatal,” says Cal Adams, a local pastor who baptized James and performed his marriage ceremony.
“This house is part of our efforts to keep her well. And we know that our child needs this, it’s the case with so many other sick children. Northeast Louisiana is a hotbed for childhood cancer. We want this house to eventually be a place where families with sick children can come and live rent-free.
James raised all but $50,000 of the cost of building the home. The Adams took out a mortgage on the debt, but James won’t be satisfied until he gets the mortgage paid off. James believes in debt-free living and recently became personally debt-free at the age of 29.
“I’m trying to find a way to pay for the house because the family want to donate it to someone else when they move on,” James says. “The Kaelyn Project can benefit someone else in the same situation in the future.”