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Current Issue
January 15, 2012






Clubs and Such

BNI (Business Network International) - Cedar Creek Professionals - meets every Wednesday at 7:30 a.m. at Comfort Suites, located at U.S. Hwy. 175 and TX 198 in Mabank. Larry Williams (903) 887-2847 or

Boy Scout Troop #398 meets at the Cedar Creek Bible Church from 7-8:30 p.m. each Tuesday. (903) 498-5725 or (903) 498-3830.

Cedar Creek Art Society meets from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. the last Thursday of each month at the Mabank Volunteer Fire Department. A $3 donation per artist is asked.

Cedar Creek Domino Club meets each Wednesday morning at the KC Senior Citizen Center, 405 W. Walnut in Mabank. (903) 887-6549 or (903) 887-1514.

Cedar Creek NAR-ANON meets at 8 p.m. on Thursday at 715 S. Hwy. 274, Ste. D in Seven Points. (903) 432-2405.

Cedar Creek Narcotics Anonymous meets at 8 p.m., Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, at 715 S. Hwy. 274, Ste. D in Seven Points. (903) 432-2405.

Cedar Creek 49ers Club meets every Thursday for fellowship and dancing. Doors open at 6 p.m. The club is located off Arnold Hill Road in Seven Points. (903) 432-3552.

Cedar Creek Lake Kiwanis Club meets at noon each Wednesday at The Jalapeno Tree in Gun Barrel City, except the second week of the month, when the club meets Thursday in conjunction with the area chamber of commerce.

Cedar Creek Optimist Club meets every Tuesday at noon at the Dairy Queen in Seven Points. Danny Hampel at (903) 778-4508.

Cedar Creek Republican Club meets every fourth Thursday. (903) 887-4796.

Cedar Creek Rotary Club meets at noon each Friday at Vetoni’s Italian Restaurant. Dee Ann Owens at (903) 340-2415.

Disabled American Veterans Chapter 101 meets the second Monday of each month at the Senior Citizens Center on Hwy. 31 in Athens.

Girl Scout Troop #112 meets at the First United Methodist Church in Mabank on Fridays at 6:30 p.m. Contact Kathey Brown email or (800) 422-2260 or visit

GriefShare Recovery support group meets at 7 p.m. each Tuesday at Cedar Creek Church of God, located at 142 Rodney Dr., Gun Barrel City. (903) 887-0293.

Gun Barrel Quilter’s Guild meets from 10 a.m. on the second Wednesday of each month at the Tri-County Library in Mabank. (903) 451-4221.

Kaufman County Republican Women’s Club meets the third Saturday of each month at the Farm Bureau Insurance Company, located at 2477 N. Hwy. 34 in Kaufman. (972) 287-1239 or (903) 880-6770.

Kemp Kiwanis Club meets at noon each Thursday at La Fuente Mexican Restaurant in Kemp. Dr. Jim Collinsworth at (903) 887-7486.

Lake Area Council of the Blind meets at 6 p.m. on the second Saturday of the month at West Athens Baptist Church.

Mabank Al-Anon Family Group meets at 6 p.m. on Thursdays at Mabank First Baptist Church Fellowship Hall. Families of alcoholics are welcome. (903) 887-2781.

Mabank/Cedar Creek Area Lions Club meets at 1 p.m. on the fourth Wednesday of each month at the Tri-County Library in Mabank. (903) 887-5252.

Mabank Garden Club meets at 1:45 p.m. at the Tri-County Library on the third Tuesday of every month (different times in May and December).

Mabank TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) meets at 5:30 p.m. Monday at Mabank First Baptist Church. (903) 887-7700 or (903) 451-0126.

Oak Harbor/Tanglewood Crime Watch meets at 7 p.m. on the second Tuesday of the month at the R.T. Beamguard Community Center in Oak Harbor.

Rainbow Girls, Masonic Youth organization meets on the second and fourth Saturdays at 10 a.m. at the Cedar Creek Masonic Lodge. Donna Dean at ddean45@

Roddy Masonic Lodge meets at 6:30 p.m. the second Monday each month. (903) 887-6201.

RootSeekers meet at 7 p.m. on the third Monday of the month in the Tri-County Library in downtown Mabank.

Southeast Kaufman County Senior Citizens Center Board of Directors meets at 1 p.m. on the fourth Thursday of each month at the center, located at 300 N. Dallas Street in Kemp. (903) 498-2140.

Tamarack Ladies Club meets at 11 a.m. the first Wednesday of each month at the TLC Hall.

Trinity Valley Community College Band meets at 7 p.m. every Tuesday in the TVCC band hall. Group is open to any community member who plays an instrument. (903) 675-6222.

Trinity Valley Singles Support Group meets at 7 p.m. each Monday at Athens First United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall on Lovers Lane. This is a support group for singles of all ages. Jean Love at (903) 451-4697 or Donna Stinson (903) 675-7270.


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Lake Life


Reflecting on a most precious gift
By Emily Lundy and Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writers

MABANK–Ask Tom Trull, in his mid-forties, if he knows what his best Christmas present has ever been, and immediately, he knows the answer.
“A kidney,” he says, as he pauses to review five years of sickness, agony, an unpredictable future, doctors, tests, hospitals, trips to Houston and Dallas hospitals.
When those who know and love him learned how sick he was, they hurt deeply not knowing really what to do.
It was in the fall of 2006 that Trull began having headaches and upset stomach so severe he went home from work about once a month from September through December. Word spread about Trull’s “look,” how he must be quite ill.
One day, his sister, Amy, a registered nurse at Hermann Memorial, looked over his health screen. “I believe you have a kidney problem,” she said.
Amy referred him to a specialist with UT Physicians in the Medical Center in Houston. A kidney biopsy confirmed that he had an IGA Nephropathy, although he had never before had a single health issue. The condition had developed from an undetected strep infection, doctors told him. As a result of Tom’s health issue, Amy changed her focus and now specializes in kidney and liver research.
IGA has no real treatment, no cure. Doctors tried chemotherapy for six months in 2007, in an effort to slow the disease’s progress. A transplant was the only solution.
In association with Hermann Memorial Hospital in Houston, Trull’s doctor began the search for a suitable, living donor, if possible. Trull’s twin sister seemed the logical solution. However, the initial screening revealed Pam’s possible genetic relationship could be a problem. If her kidney ever developed the same condition, he would be at a great disadvantage.
Several more friends and acquaintances were in line for testing. However, all immediate and extended family members were eliminated for not meeting one or more specifications.
Tom and his wife, Angie, a principal in a nearby school, began searching within the community for options. The matching criteria included an O-positive blood type. Many were screened but none matched all the criteria. Disappointment followed disappointment. The screening process was taking longer than anyone had thought. Now, time was becoming critical. The plan was to find a match, do the screening and set up a transplant before Tom had to begin dialysis treatments. Each delay meant further deterioration of his kidneys.
In June, longtime family friend Patricia Riley asked Tom for an application. But someone else was already looking good for being the match the Trulls had been praying for. By September, Tom went on nightly dialysis at home and a December transplant date was in the offing.
Retracing family history
When the Don Trull family moved from the Dallas area in 1967 and purchased land north of Mabank, four children born within three years came with them: Amy, almost three; Jeff, 13 months younger with Williams’ Syndrome; and twin babies Tom and Pam.
For a small community, this was good news, both for the church they would attend and school they would enroll in. Their mother, Dee, a talented, stay-at-home mom, was most welcomed.
They chose a farmhouse near Roddy, off Highway 19 going to Canton. The family dreamed of building a new house beside the old farmhouse, and around 1980, they did. Now stands a beautiful brick home with four bedrooms, large cooking area to show off Dee’s culinary skills, a view “to die for” out the back and Don’s cabinetry artistry throughout in shelves, bureaus and cabinets, was a dream come true. Don ran cattle and sundry ranching and farming activities.
Busy most of the time, life was good. Along the way, there were minor and some major surgeries. Don, now in his seventies, learned to manage his heart disease. Only last year, while visiting family in Alabama, Dee became deathly ill and had several surgeries, while kept in an induced coma for a week, but she rallied and is now forgetting how close she came to leaving this earth.
But this story is not about Dee or Don, which it could be, but about Tom, their youngest son.
Tom’s dream after high school was to teach. He chose agricultural studies. His first job was near Nacogdoches. As a high school senior, he had begun seeing Angie Ivey, a beautiful sophomore, for special occasions. Then “often” became “steady.” Both were well liked and active in their school. Tom is remembered as laid back, quiet, soft-spoken, with a crisp, clean humor just waiting for the right opportunity to spring with just a touch of mischief.
During college or right afterward, the pair married in an outdoor setting at Angie’s home with a western theme.
Then Tom was hired at his alma mater, Mabank High School, to teach agricultural science. Soon the couple built a home near Tom’s parents. Today, they have one son, Bradley, 22. Tom and Bradley are both excellent farm equipment mechanics.
Back to the present
With Tom’s illness pushing him to the limit, he had to take it easier, so he took a change in teaching assignments, going to the Alternative School for fewer job-related trips and lightened responsibilities. He kept weekly appointments with his doctor in Houston. As they approached the transplant month, the hopeful donor matching process that had looked so good, had on one of the very last tests proved incompatible – another disappointment.
However, Riley’s preliminary tests showed signs of being a match. The Kemp resident and graduate had known Tom and Angie for 17 years and looked up to Angie as a mentor, as she started her teaching career. Riley, then 38 years old with three children Cotton, 11, Kendall, 10, and Callie, 3, went ahead with the process although her family was not thrilled, but nonetheless very supportive of Patricia’s decision to have elective surgery. Their concerns centered on the immediate and long-term risks.
“Tom and Angie are just the best, and he’s such an amazing person,” Patricia said it was easy to respond to his need.
“I felt it (the kidney) was something I had that I didn’t need that would change someone else’s life forever,” she told The Monitor.
“Actually, I feel I got more out of it, than Tom did. For one thing, I learned more about my own body than I would have otherwise (referring to the various tests she underwent). I even got to see a 3-D image of my heart pumping,” she elaborated. But the most important value she gained was an increased faith and understanding of giving. “I learned what the true gift of giving is and what a lesson for my children. I haven’t regretted it a single day. I would do it all again, in a second,” she said.
Exactly when Tom received the good news that Patricia was a match, he can’t remember.
Each step along the way has to turn up precise results. One wrong characteristic or red flag would cancel the whole process and the search would have to begin again. But with each positive test result, hope began to build. “I left it all in God’s hands,” Patricia said. “I turned all control over to him. If it was his will, everything would turn out as it should, and it did.”
Tom gratefully remembers Patricia’s optimistic outlook throughout the process.
The operation was set for Dec. 7, 2010. The Christmas and New Year holidays were approaching, affording the longest stretch of time off from work in which the two teachers could recover from the procedure with help from concerned family and friends.
Patricia recounts the day of the transplant. “That morning when they put in the IV, my only fear was whether or not I would be able to handle the pain,” she said. Looking back she described her recovery as difficult. “I’ve had three babies and that (recovery) was the worst pain I felt in my life,” she said. Though she insists she would still do it again.
Patricia reports that her kidney was such a perfect match for Tom that it set records in its performance soon after surgery. And both Patricia and Tom were able to spend Christmas 2010 at home with their families.
It’s been a full year, since Tom got his life back and he is left with one more deed to perform.
He asks, “How do you thank someone for giving you an organ so you can live a full life?”
“It’s been a year and I still don’t know how,” he said.
“Of course, it has changed my life in so many ways. I always felt I was health conscious. But, when your life is changed to this point, you don’t take anything for granted. I try to live as though I have no limitations because I now know what limitations are first hand.
“I would also especially thank my wife and family (including Aunt Vonnie Dover – my dad’s sister), and friends for seeing me through the process. I think I was on every prayer list in every church in our area. I know prayer works.”
Patricia said she continues to see Tom nearly on a weekly basis. “He’s always grateful and appreciative and always tells me, ‘I owe it all to you.’



















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