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Meet The Family Above Me

Haha. Ever since I shared the story of doorbell ditching the family above me on Friday with our $10,000 gift, I’ve been bombarded with emails and comments from people wanting to know what their reaction was, what’s happened since, am I sure they got it, etc.

Okay, maybe bombarded isn’t the right word. But at least ten people have demanded updates.

Okay, maybe demanded isn’t the right word. But they certainly were excited to know!

So was I, believe me! The rest of Friday passed and not a peep from the family above me. I kept checking my phone all day, willing it to go off. And, nothing.

I stayed up till 3:30 AM staring at my phone, sure that it would go off eventually. Um, yeah, we’ll go with that. My staying up late couldn’t have had anything to do with a *slightly* debaucherous Christmas party I attended, or that I was dancing like a white boy mad man in my friend’s kitchen with a bunch of other eggnog lovin’ peeps late into the night.

Anyway…

The next day I still hadn’t heard anything and come afternoon I was starting to get worried.

Then, at about 4pm when I was out and about with my siblings getting some Christmas shopping done, an unrecognized number lit up my screen. It was Mel, who I can now tell you is Martin. “I’m sorry I didn’t call sooner,” he said. “It’s been such an emotional couple days for us.”

I’m a grown man and I know what a grown man sounds like when he’s trying to hold it together. I asked if he could come by in the morning and I can only assume that he lost it at that point because his wife suddenly got on the phone and told me that would be fine.

The next morning, Martin and his wife Jackie came down and knocked on the door. As soon as they walked in, I knew that even a trip that short was no easy task for Jackie who I quickly would learn has stage 4 Ovarian cancer.

the-dick-family-2

Not a lot was said while they were here. Both Martin and Jackie appeared to be in shock, if I’m being honest. We made a plan for how to get them the money (in the end, it’ll work best to give it to their caretaker daughter who is not tied to their benefits or assistance at all).

Remember how I told you I could see in Martin’s eyes that the dog bite was the last thing his family needed right then and that they just needed a win?

Well, that may have been the understatement of the century.

A few days before the dog bite incident, Jackie got the news that the chemo treatments hadn’t worked. Her cancer was spreading and she would have to start treatments all over again. The morning after the dog bite she was scheduled to start again.

On top of all that, she had gotten a spinal block to help her from feeling the pain in her lower half, but it didn’t work properly and had taken more than two excruciating days to kick in.

Insert, directly into the middle of all that, a psycho scary looking crazy man getting bit by their dog, and you can probably guess how fun that Sunday was for the Dick family.

437 comments
Shel
Shel

 Just catching up on this story. AT work. Crying at my desk. Dan, you are awesome. Sorry to hear the Mom didn't make it.


P.S. - Is there a reason you don't put dates on your stories? I like dates.

Sephoria
Sephoria

It's lovely to have faces and names to put to these very deserving people.  I am glad that your generous heart and the generosity of us as a community has made such a wonderful impact on their lives!  I wish Jackie all the best in her treatments and my thoughts and prayers will be with the entire family while she continues her battle. :)

pwlk
pwlk

Just found your blog, but what a great first post to find.  What an amazing opportunity you were given!

RaeAnnRockhill
RaeAnnRockhill

Love this!!  So glad you were able to help them and ease their burdens when they most needed the help.

Hexi
Hexi

That's what earthly beings do, they take care of each other... thanks for sharing, Dan!

Geri Swanson
Geri Swanson

Just such an incredible Christmas story, thank you for sharing:)

Ijeoma Ajibade
Ijeoma Ajibade

Dear Dan

I am a priest from the Diocese of London. I follow your blog because I am a single parent myself although my son is 22. This story really touched me. I want to thank you for the way you have shown love this Christmas not just for this family but for all of us. One of the Christmas readings from Isaiah 52:7 says ' How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation....'

That's you!  You are one of those beautiful messengers who make life better for the people around them. Thank you for doing this. Thank you for being a beautiful messenger for this family and for all of us.


JoanieC
JoanieC

The world could use a whole lot more "we take care of each other". You have no idea how bad I needed to hear. I was loosing faith in humanity lately.

justme75025
justme75025

I also have ovarian cancer, a rare version of this vicious disease.  Please give your neighbor a hug from Texas.  But my story is different from hers.  This year, about 5 weeks before Christmas I was told I am in remission.  I think my entire family has had the best Christmas ever.  My world will never be the same and never again will I take time for granted.  Every minute is important.  Hopefully they can find a way to stabilize her disease so she will also have more time. 

This year I was given the gift of time, and it is truly the best gift ever.  


Merry Christmas to you and the adorable munchkin :)

NikiRedman
NikiRedman

This is beyond amazing and brought tears to my eyes.  Thank you Dan for reaching out in understanding and love to those around you and for focusing energy and efforts to help that family.

tamzzzz
tamzzzz

Humanity rocks! Again, Dan you're a beautiful person and I thank you eternally for the sunshine you bring to the days. :) 

elysianfantasy
elysianfantasy

Sometimes you're put in someone's path for a reason. I'm so glad you were chosen, and that you and hundreds of readers could somewhat ease the burden this family has been bearing. Please keep updating us with their story!

AngelBrookins
AngelBrookins

so beautiful. Thank you, Dan, for letting us be a part of their miracle!

Amber Markham Eddins
Amber Markham Eddins

Proud of you.....and of all those that had the Christmas spirit....which is love, joy, and kindness........

Laura_P
Laura_P

That's a whole lotta awesome.  You'd be amazed at what can emerge from hardship.  My son has leukemia, and I as well as many of my new "cancer friends" have started foundations to support pediatric cancer patients and their families or to just spread a bit of joy.  My charity makes tutus and capes for kids with serious illnesses and disabilities and their siblings (who feel the pain of diagnosis so acutely!).  They put those capes and tutus on, and are able to shed their illnesses for a time and fly!  Thank you for allowing us to help another family in need spread their wings and fly.

Christine Platt Donaubauer
Christine Platt Donaubauer

I am not afraid to say I was chomping at the bit for the rest of the story.... I just was trying to be polite and not nag you...

Brandie 'Bodamer' Kenny
Brandie 'Bodamer' Kenny

"Because that’s what neighbors do,” I told him. “They take care of each other.” -- I love this Dan and you could not have said it better.

Kellynn
Kellynn

Merry Christmas Dan!  I love this feel-good story that you shared with all of us, and you allowed us to participate in with you.  I too participated by giving a very small gift to this family, and it is by far one of the best gifts that I will always remember.  I really liked that you turned a bad situation into a win for everyone involved (including all your readers).  I was so happy to read Martin and Jackie's letter to all of us -- I hope they can take care of some important things like getting their car fixed, and buy food, but that they also do something fun with some of the money.  Merry Christmas!! 

DaveStearns
DaveStearns

This is such an amazing thing that you have done (with your reader's help).  Such in incredible blessing!!  Merry Christmas to them and many prayers for a full recovery!  Miracles DO happen!!

BrookieCookie
BrookieCookie

This seriously was the best gift I gave for Christmas this year.  I am so honored to have been able to participate in this story.  Thank you for sharing.  Jackie, you are an inspiration, stay strong.  Martin, I admire your fierce dedication to your family.  Take care and keep us posted!

Melanie Beake Giles
Melanie Beake Giles

You are AMAZING and everyone that donated has just participated in a Christmas Miracle for this family and the others you will help. God Bless.

Meredith Eligh Sexton
Meredith Eligh Sexton

I've been anxious to hear the result of this story and I am so happy to be reading it right now. I wish I could have contributed to the gift but I'm so very glad that so many did. I fear for what this family still has yet to face, but feel a little happier to know that they now know they aren't facing these challenges entirely alone. You all are such beautiful people.

Stephanie Lang Cox
Stephanie Lang Cox

I LOVE this so much! So grateful I was able to be a part of it and grateful to you for making this happen! :)

Elena Ramos-Peffly
Elena Ramos-Peffly

You are their angel on Earth, YOU were chosen to bless this family!

Lisa Torgerson
Lisa Torgerson

More tears. I will continue to lift them up in prayer.

Bob Zonis
Bob Zonis

I suppose it's better than bacchanaliated...

Eric Wolff-Sewell
Eric Wolff-Sewell

Dan, tell your computer to add debaucherous to the dictionary. Then you can debauch to your heart's content. :)

Lisa Pettibone Webb
Lisa Pettibone Webb

Super! Happy to have been able to help. Thanks for the update & Merry Christmas!!

Jane Bartlet Hessdorfer
Jane Bartlet Hessdorfer

you took a bad thiing - the dog bite - and turned it into something beautiful. Thanks for sharing

Katie Knapp Waggoner
Katie Knapp Waggoner

Keeping this family in my prayers. I hate cancer. I hope and pray that she beats the odds.

Erica Miller
Erica Miller

This is just one of those "faith in humanity restored" stories. I was so happy to be a part of it. Thank you Dan. They will be continually in my prayers. Praying for healing and peace. Love to you Dan for bringing us together. I love to see what love can do...

Audette Fulson
Audette Fulson

This is the sugarplum on the Christmas cake - just knowing that people like you and like us are still making a difference.

Wilma S Cohen
Wilma S Cohen

You are a good man. I wish there more like you in the world. Noah should be very proud to have you as his dad ! :D