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'Beards for Bird' Facebook movement keeping woman in hospice in good spirits

5:12 PM, Aug 19, 2013   |    comments
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UPDATE, 8/22/13: Bird's family has told First Coast News that she passed away. She was surrounded by family.

SANDERSON, Fla. -- Doctors say she has anywhere from two days to two weeks to live. A local woman with kidney problems who's now under hospice care, is no longer fighting for her life. But with the help of family, she's certainly enjoying her time here, with lots of love and laughter.

Brenda Odom of Sanderson is known around town as "Bird." For years, she's done charity work through the local Moose Lodge, cooking, cleaning and bringing laughter to those in need. Now confined to a bed under hospice care, Bird is now the one in need of TLC. And her friends and family are there to deliver.

As a way to keep Bird, a mother of three and grandmother of seven cheerful during her final days, her son Keenan Odom came up with the idea of "Beards for Bird." He posted the request on Facebook page.

"Everybody just grow their beards out," said Odom. "And I even said if you can't or if you're a female, make something up. And it spread like wildfire."

Odom's Facebook page is filled with Beards for Bird. Some of them are clearly not home grown. They range from babies with beards to furry dogs doing the trick, and there even a fancy half beard in the mix.

"The main thing is to keep her laughing and smiling," said daughter Tina Odom.

Laughter, through the tears. Bird's daughters say that's how they're coping.

"She has the heart of a lion," said Wendie Camps. "And she's fought until you just can't fight anymore. So it's time. When she's ready we're here for her."

"She was there for me when I took my first breath," said Tina Odom. "So I want to be there for her when she takes her last."

The Odom family is urging everyone to help save a life and become an organ donor if you can. You're also encouraged to upload your own beard for Bird on firstcoastnews.com. You'll also see a few familiar faces with beards.

First Coast News

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