Community coming together through pizza to help grieving family - FOX Carolina 21

Community coming together through pizza to help grieving family

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BRENTWOOD, TN (WSMV) -

For more than 20 years, Kendall Kitchens has worked to make sure that Papa John's pizzas arrive hot to Brentwood homes.

"You've gotta stay busy," he said.

For Kitchens, staying busy is just a part of life. This is his second job, and at home, he's been a husband to April for 22 years and holds the title of Dad.

"She was an incredible woman. We found out early that we couldn't have children, so we knew that adoption would be a road that we would go down," he said.

The Kitchens are parents to four children; the oldest is 14 and the youngest is 2 years old.

On Jan. 1, the family was celebrating their son's fourth birthday when something went wrong.

"She started feeling ill, and then seemed to get better," he said about his wife.

Despite medical treatment, Kitchens says his wife came down sick again, and he did, too.

"It's just that kind of illness. We just didn't think it was anything to be largely concerned about," he said.

But come morning, Kitchens says he found his wife barely alive and efforts at the hospital couldn't save her.

He says his family has brought him strength during this difficult time.

"I've got four beautiful children that keep me going every day," Kitchens said.

His strength also comes from his co-workers at Papa John's in Brentwood. They've launched the April Kitchens Memorial Fund.

"We knew that we had something that people like, and if we could get the neighborhoods and the churches wanting to do it with us, then it could be a huge win," said Manager Laura Lee Volkerding.

All of the Williamson County Papa John's stores are taking part in helping.

"It just shows that people will love you when you're going through rough times," Kitchens said.

Anyone who wants to help can order a pizza using the code word "Kitchens4." A portion of the proceeds will be going to the family to help with expenses.

Copyright 2014 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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