Mom whose child beat cancer gives back to woman who helped in time of need
Fri, 11 Apr 2014 03:20:55 GMT —
Thomas Luna has a good reason to smile. He kicked cancer TMs butt! The 9-year-old has been in remission for the last 18 months for Rhabdomyosarcoma, a cancer which attacks the muscles. But the time Thomas spent sick and in pain left one woman reaching out to help. Jennifer Garegnani of Harlingen started RGV Families in Need back in 2012. It's a Facebook group dedicated to lending a helping hand to children and their families online. She uses it to organize bake sales, holiday photo ops and other fundraisers with the support of her home based Italian catering business called Buoncibos. Thomas is the first recipient of monetary donations for his medical expenses. His mother America Luna has never forgotten the kindness and nominated Jennifer for the Pay it 4Ward prize. "When you did that for my son, when we were going through that difficult time, you didn't have to and yet you did," she told Jennifer who had no idea about the surprise nomination. "And I just want the whole Valley to know what an awesome person you are and I want to Pay it 4Ward." Ricardo Filizola and Karen Gonzalez with GEF Financial Agency share the news of her reward. "We believe in helping the community," Ricardo explained to her. "All of us at GEF Financial do. And when your friend told us about what you've been doing, it's exactly what we believe." Karen awards Jennifer the cash prize. "Thank you for everything you do for the community and on behalf of GEF Financial and Action 4 News, please put out your hand." Karen counts out $400 and hands it to Jennifer. "I feel like I'm going to throw up," Jennifer said with the money in her hand. "I'm really nervous but I'm really appreciative and thank you so much. I saw there's a lot of people that needed help and they're not always comfortable asking for it. So I thought if I could help I would." Jennifer is a mother of 2 who's facing financial struggles of her own. America learned the roof and walls to her friend's home show signs of cracking from a foundation problem she can't afford to fix. "We're so moved by your generosity," Action 4's Ryan Wolf said next. "We heard about the struggles you're going through and so we have one more surprise. My friend Frank Puente is a roofing and contractor. And I'm going to bring him in right now... Frank." "We're going to try to do something about your foundation," Frank said to Jennifer. "We heard you have a little bit of a problem with foundation and the cost and we're going to see if we can do it for you or find someone that can do it for you." Jennifer is so thrilled she begins to cry. "Thank you so much," she said with tears in her eyes. "On the inside... what are you feeling?" Ryan asked. "I feel awesome," she said with a smile. "I don't really feel like I deserve it but I really appreciate it." "Why do you say you don't deserve it?" Ryan asked. "I'm just a small fry," she said while wiping the tears off her face. Those who know her couldn TMt disagree more. They say she has a gigantic heart.