Brothers lose both parents, community unites to help them

- The community is coming together to take care of two brothers who have lost both of their parents. 

“Losing both parents has been really tough,” explains 18-year-old Zackery Cockrill. He and his 17-year old brother Ben are learning an early and enormous life lesson about loss.

”There’s a lot of praying that’s been going on between us, just for strength, for hope”, add Zackery.

In 2012, Zack and Ben's mom Debbie died suddenly.  

“My dear friend Debbie, we met in college," says Debbie’s best friend Sherry Hearon. "I believe we were 19 years old. She was my best friend for 35 years. I miss her. She was just a person I could trust. We never had an argument in all those years. It’s a statement to just how easy going she was.” 

“I was lost for a while," says Zackery. "I wasn’t really sure, not really of myself. I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do because I always thought of my mom helping guide me. Then I realized she wasn’t there. We spent a lot of time together. We used to go to dance classes together at Lifetime, doing salsa or something like that. We spent a lot of time together.”

Then last Tuesday, their dad, Jim Cockrill, lost his battle with liver cancer after battling it for almost a year. 

“The boys are put in a bad situation that most kids should never have to go through,” says Jim’s nephew Scott Ward. Mr. Cockrill was a realtor and did not have life insurance. He realized he needed to buy it after losing his wife.

“He had gone to try to get some after she passed and when he went to go do the blood test it came back he had cancer and he was denied life insurance,” explains Ward. Neighbors in Fort Bend County are taking care of the teen brothers as best they can. More than $14,000 has been raised on a GoFundMe page and the brothers are moving in with their mom's best friend.

“This is the house me and my brother grew up in," says Zackery. "Of course, I’m sad to see it go but we’re moving in with a really loving family and I’m really excited about that.” 

“We love them. They’re a part of our family,” adds Hearon.

“I’m just really happy the community is coming together and helping us out,” explains Zackery.  

“It’s just an amazing statement of people’s goodwill for others and I am so thankful,” adds Hearon.

Jim Cockrill was a military veteran. He will be laid to rest Saturday. Funeral services are 10 a.m. at River Pointe Church in Richmond. 

“He would be really, really happy and pleasantly surprised at all the outpouring people have given his sons,” says Ward.

Zackery says he and his brother are much better off because so many are choosing to, love your neighbor as you love yourself.

If you would like to help out Zack and Ben Cockrill visit to make a donation. They say your prayers are also very welcome.

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