GOOD NEWS Garbagemen Bring Hope to Family of a Little Girl With Cancer
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) January 14, 2017
Angie Evenson, of Blue Earth, Minnesota, says all three of her daughters have, for years, gathered at the window when garbagemen Brandon Olsen and Taylor Fritz collect their family's trash.
"They'd stop what they were doing and rush to the window to wave to the garbagemen," Evenson told TODAY Parents. "And the guys would always go way out of their way to wave big — you could tell they always made an intentional effort to look for the girls. We didn't even know each other's names at that point."
When Evenson's three-year-old daughter Rosie was diagnosed with stage 4 kidney cancer in September 2016, Evenson left a note letting Olsen and Fritz know that the girls weren't stopping waving, but they would be gone sometimes for Rosie's cancer treatments.
Olsen, who has three young children of his own, said when he read the note, he was devastated.
"This family forever changed my life — I read the note and was in near tears," said Olsen. "Being a father, it's scary to think, 'What if it were me in that situation?'"
Olsen and Fritz began brainstorming ways they could help the family.
They spoke to their boss at Hometown Sanitation about donating one year of free garbage service, an employee benefit, to the family.
Olsen and Fritz presented the gift and a letter from "the Crew at Hometown Sanitation" that contained an encouraging message.
"As parents ourselves, we can only imagine what this is like for you," the letter read. "We want to wish you the best of luck as you fight on and battle through ... stay strong, fight hard, stick together."
Evenson says the act of kindness has given strength to her family during Rosie's treatment.
"Everyone tells us, 'Oh, you're so strong.' But we feel so weak," said Evenson. "But the little things that people do carry you along, and it's kind of like you borrow the strength from other people."
"What they did made us feel like we were not alone. It was just a simple gesture, but to us, it was huge."
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