An East Idaho Secret Santa surprised the wife of a terminal cancer patient with a car and $6,000 on her birthday.
Malena’s husband Randy was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer over the summer, East Idaho News reported. They are parents to two girls, and their youngest, Makenzie, began college this fall at BYU-Idaho.
Before his diagnosis, Randy served as a bishop at BYU-Idaho, where he invited many students to his house for meals and counseling.
Since his diagnosis, Randy has been completing his chemotherapy treatments and has been unable to work.
Malena is trying to keep up with the financial pressures of Randy’s job loss by working multiple jobs while dealing with some car trouble with her 2005 Nissan, which has 141,000 miles on it.
So Nate Eaton, the news director for East Idaho News, and the elf designated by the East Idaho Secret Santa in charge of getting the presents, decided to surprise Malena with a 2020 Chevy Equinox and $6,000 worth of checks.
“Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear Malina, happy birthday to you!” Eaton and his team sang as Malina answered the door.
Eaton explained that Secret Santa wanted to deliver a very special gift for her birthday and for Christmas and told her to open it up.
“Thank you very much,” Malina responded as she opened up her first gift, a $5,000 check.
When she got the keys to her car, Malina said, “Oh my word!”
Malena and Randy paid it forward the next day, delivering a gift and a letter to Secret Santa.
The letter said in part:
Your generous gift has helped spark in us renewed hope and a determination to face our current challenges with a different view. We will savor Randy’s remaining time with us, prepare for our new life, and seek, in our small way, to follow in your footsteps and lift where we can.
Malena was not the only one touched by Secret Santa’s generosity. Earlier in December, Secret Santa surprised a woman whose mother and husband died within the past few months with a gravestone for her husband, a $5,000 check, and $2,000 in gift cards for groceries.