• Local family continues battling adversities


    PITTSBURGH - A teen battling cancer wanted 10,000 likes on Facebook, and thanks to so many of you, he now has more than 21,000.

    Last year, Pittsburgh opened its heart to Devin and his dream. Now, over the weekend, his family’s house caught fire, bringing them their latest challenge.

    Devin's mother, Daneen Kowel, told Channel 11’s Katherine Amenta that faith has brought her back from the brink of despair before.

    “I found God again,” she said.

    Kowel’s home caught fire Sunday night, and her family lost nearly everything to smoke damage.

    “Are you kidding me? What’s next?” Kowel said in response to the fire.

    After our story aired last year about Devin’s Dreams, people around the world started granting the terminal cancer patient’s wishes.

    “I ran into his room, pulled his arm and said, ‘Devin, we have to get out of here. We have to get out of here. There’s a fire,’” Kowel said.

    Devin told Amenta he didn’t know what was going on.

    Kowel said she thinks one of her kids left a plastic laundry basket against the furnace, causing the fire.

    According to Kowel, who said they just recovered from sewage flooding their basement on New Year’s Eve, it will take at least a month to rebuild.

    Insurance is covering the repairs, but for now, they are living in a hotel and out of plastic bags.

    Kowel said her daughter can’t understand why all of this keeps happening.

    “She said, ‘Mommy, this house is possessed. Our house is possessed,’” Kowel said.

    Kowel said her family will stay strong through all adversities. As for Devin, he recently had a positive doctor’s visit. The prognosis hasn’t changed, but Kowel said they have more time together and they’re grateful.

    For more information on how you can help the Kowel family, visit their Facebook page.

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