Local teacher from ‘Extreme Makeover’ loses battle with cancer

LEXINGTON, N.C. — The Davidson County teacher whose family was featured on “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” has died.

Tricia Creasey, 39, died around 2:30 p.m. Thursday after a long battle with cancer, said Randy Holmes, principal of E. Lawson Brown Middle School.

Creasey, a seventh-grade science and social studies teacher, died peacefully at home with family by her side, Holmes said.

Dozens attended a candlelight vigil Thursday night outside the Creasey house. There was prayer and song, and sniffles could be heard in the crowd during moments of silence.

“I can’t tell you what it means for everybody to be out here tonight doing this for our family. Tricia was a fighter and she’s fought this hard battle for six years, and now she’s gone home,” said William Creasey, Tricia’s husband.

Rebecca Sink with Relay for Life said she first met the family at a fundraiser she was holding for a friend of hers.

“Before (my friend) lost her battle, she said, ‘I don’t know how that woman does it. She gets up, she goes to school, she takes care of three kids, a house and a husband. She is my hero.’ I’m glad to say today that Jennie finally met her hero,” Sink said.

Funeral arrangements are pending, but visitation is set for Saturday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Davidson Funeral Home.

Creasey was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2006. Host Ty Pennington and the rest of the “Extreme Makeover” crew chose to highlight her after learning she refused to stop teaching while undergoing chemotherapy.

In November 2009, a local contractor and about 1,000 volunteers worked with the show to tear down the old Creasey home on Allred Road in Lexington and build a new one from scratch. The family vacationed at Disney World during the week that it took to build the home.

In February 2010, millions of viewers around the country learned her story. Creasey kept teaching until October 2011, Holmes said.

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