Needed: One viral video for woman battling cancer

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WTVD) -- A Chapel Hill woman needs a video to go viral to help her critically-ill sister who is battling cancer.

Tina CoyneSmith has been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support for her sister, Patti Powell.

Patti, a mother of four, was diagnosed with stage-four lung cancer in late August. She lives in Pennsylvania with her family and is currently undergoing chemotherapy treatments.

"My sister's wonderful. She's just extraordinary. She's the best mother," said CoyneSmith.

Patti is employed as a teacher's aide at a Pennsylvania elementary school. Since her cancer progressed, she's been unable to return to work. Medical bills and living expenses are piling up.

"It's devastating for the family. It is heartbreaking and desperate in every possible way that it can be," said CoyneSmith about her sister's diagnosis. "She has no money to buy food. She has no money to pay the rent."

That's where family friend, Derek DeShane, comes in.

DeShane, who works for Lenovo in Morrisville, entered a video contest for employees at the company.

The first employee whose video gets 500,000 views by Jan. 31 wins a grand prize of $50,000.

What started out as a father-son project quickly changed when DeShane learned about Patti's diagnosis.

"I thought we could turn this into something really meaningful for somebody who's in desperate need," said DeShane.

He decided to add Patti's story to his video.

If he wins the prize money, DeShane plans to give it all to her family.

DeShane's video also directs people to the GiveForward page, which has now raised more than $7,000.

"Complete strangers are saying you've inspired me. I'm sharing this with all my friends. I'm watching it every day," said he said.

"It is the very definition of goodness and kindness and hope," said CoyneSmith. "I'm enormously grateful."

DeShane's video also directs people to the GiveForward page, which has now raised more than $7,000 for Coyne Powell and her family.

Watch the video

To donate to Patti directly or to learn more about her story:

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