Liver Disease Patient Thankful for Salvation Army

Every Thanksgiving, The Salvation Army serves meals to hundreds of East Texans who are homeless or making little income. This year, more than 100 volunteers packed the gymnasium with food and holiday cheer. One man, who is diagnosed with liver disease is thankful for such a giving group of people.

"I moved just to relocate and start our family over. And I moved here and got a job right off the bat and went to work. And then I developed a sickness. I found out I had cirrhosis," said Michael Doll.

He, his wife Mandy, and their two children checked in at The Salvation Army in Tyler six months ago. Michael says cirrhosis is just one of more than a dozen diseases he's been diagnosed with.

"The salvation army put us up, and they're helping me through, helped me with my medications, helped me to get started on basically everything," said Doll.

Michael says he sees the residents and volunteers as more than just neighbors and friends.

"This is our family. I'm thankful for this place to live at, this place to hold my family, where we don't have to worry about anything."

And because of that, Michael says he wants someday to return the favor.

"I'd like to be one of those volunteers one day, hopefully after a transplant, but I'll be able to do something back for The Salvation Army, like they've done for us."

Of course, these four are just a few of the hundreds of people who enjoyed a Thanksgiving dinner this year, plus a free phone call to a long-distance relative, courtesy of Alltel.

Julie Tam, reporting.