Local real estate agents reach out to build ‘treehouse’ for young cancer patient

By Sarah Brown
Lebanon Local
Walker Street was lined with red-shirted do-gooders to welcome Rialee Roth, 12, to her new house Thursday, May 13.
The Gillott Home Team – Keller Williams Realty Mid-Willamette staff spent the day building a freestanding tree house for Rialee in her backyard while she was undergoing chemotherapy in Portland.
Rialee said her first reaction at seeing the club house was, “Amazing. Awesome!”
Rialee was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2017 at age 8, and underwent chemo treatment for six months. She was in remission for just over three years, and relapsed two days before Christmas 2020.
The family found out this week that the previous chemo treatments damaged Rialee’s ovaries, but the good news is that pretty much all her cancer is gone, said Rhianna Roth, Rialee’s mom
“On the scan today she has a few spots left, but she’s clear to proceed with the last two cycles of chemo and then go into transplant,” she said. “It’s good; the chemo’s working.”
The Gillott Home Team built the tree house over a period of two weeks to culminate in the designated annual Keller Williams National Day of Service, also known as “Red Day,” May 13.

STAFFERS from Gillott Home Team work on a free-standing treehouse for Rialee Roth, 12, who was undergoing chemo treatments in Portland as the construction was taking place.

“All Keller William offices across the world shut down their doors, they close to the public, and they go out and serve in the communities where they live,” said Laura Gillott. “They give where they live.”
As Mindy Vantil, marketing director for the Gillott Home Team, started looking for a service project the staff could do locally, she received an email from the Make A Wish Foundation about a girl wanting a backyard makeover.
It was such a great idea, but, of course, that little girl wasn’t in Oregon, Vantil said. But it reminded her of Rialee, whom she knew was fighting cancer for the second time.
David Gillott, who works at Rialee’s school, had a conversation with her and asked if there was anything she wanted.
“She actually said, ‘I’d like a tree house,’ and we all went, ‘OK, well, that worked out really well!’” Vantil said.
It made perfect sense to the Gillott Home Team that, as a realty company, they would provide a tree house for a local girl on their service day, she said.
She was confident that there would be enough support from the 40 staff members, their spouses and the community to make Rialee’s wish come true.

Mary Almen and Chris Jiles discuss where to place the ‘R’.

Shawn Turrentine, of Turrentine Engineering, drew up the plans, Eric Frazier, of Frazier Construction, helped with construction, and businesses donated supplies. To make use of the 40-plus staff members, the team also planned a yard cleanup and planting task force.
Red Day is a celebration of Mo Anderson’s birthday, held every second Thursday of May. Anderson, former Keller Williams CEO, had declared she wanted community service to be a birthday gift to her.
“She’s over 80 now, a wonderful lady,” Gillott said. “She was kind of in charge of culture for Keller Williams, and one part of culture is giving in your community.”
As part of Red Day in the past, Gillott Home Team has done school grounds cleanup, volunteered at SafeHaven Humane Society, helped with the garden and wood chopping at the Children’s Farm Home, held a food drive for FISH, performed upkeep at Willamette Manor, and cleared out debris and overgrowth from a person’s yard, and even road cleanup.
“We had our vests and the little pincher things, and we’d walk up and down the ditch on Airport Road and pick up garbage out of the road,” Gillott said.
It was one of her favorite service days, she said.
“We’ve never done a build,” she noted.
But now she can say they have.
The Gillott Home Team also put on a fundraiser for the Roth family’s medical and living expenses during Rialee’s treatment. The family will be paying on their house while also renting an apartment in Portland.
For more information, visit Facebook.com/ARoostforRialee.