Lia Surprise Squad helps family, dealing with health battle, ease back into school

(Submitted photos)

It's back to school and back-to-back Lia Auto Group Surprise Squads this week.

We're joining in a community effort to help a Chicopee family.

In the beginning of August, Western Mass News exclusively told you about the Tollivers, struggling to make ends meet while the dad battles liver failure.

"Miracles do happen and we're hoping for our miracle," said Theresa Tolliver.

Back in June, Tolliver's husband, Joel, was diagnosed with liver failure.

"You never think this will happen at such a young age," Tolliver explained.

After 25 years and two children together, Joel's incurable diagnosis is a hardship they never expected

"There's so many things we won't be able to do together that we wanted to," Tolliver added.

With no paid time-off or disability benefits, Tolliver's now the sole provider and while she works full-time, their two sons, 17-year-old Tryston and 15-year-old Jayden, take care of their dad.

"Just give him his pills, anything he needs if he has to get up, water or something." said Jayden Tolliver.

So when their air conditioning broke in June, it was the last thing on their minds to fix. That's when the community stepped in to help.

Now, so are we.

The Lia Auto Group Surprise Squad gave the Tollivers $200 to Big Y to help with school lunches.

For the two Tolliver boys heading back to high school, two separate $100 gift cards to Target.

In addition, Tryston and Jayden received a new wardrobe and Bentley's Barbershop in Springfield gave them back to school haircuts.

At their Chicopee home. the back door was broken - something of a hazard and inconvenience that normally Joel would fix.

Home Depot stepped up and gave the family $500 to help replace the door.

It's all in an effort to check a few items off the Tolliver to-do list, ahead of a new school year and soccer season

Theresa and Joel, vowing in sickness and in health, 16 years ago on this exact day.

"He's a good man. He's a hard worker. He's a very caring person. Alls you can do is hope for the best," Tolliver noted.

If you know someone deserving of a visit from the Lia Auto Group Surprise Squad, please email us at

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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