TETON VALLEY, Ida. — A Secret Santa charitable program has impacted the holidays in a huge way for one local family.
Driggs, Idaho residents Brad and Erica Crow, along with their two adopted children, have received a surprise gift of health insurance for a year and $50,000 dollars towards starting their family home. It is the largest Secret Santa mission to date.
According to a video from East Idaho News, Family Crow are a hard-working troop of self-supporters but injury and illness have made their circumstances dire.
Originally diagnosed with Osteosarcoma at 14 yrs-old, Brad had undergone radiation and chemotherapy until, ultimately, had a bone in his leg removed and replaced. Adult years and a wonderful marriage later, Brad alongside wife Erica, who works as a school bus driver, had decided to build their own home. It was late summer at that stage, so the Crows first built a shop from which to work.
The couple’s plan was to live in a camp trailer inside that shop through winter and finish their home the following summer. However, while building, Brad fractured his replaced bone. Amazingly, he finished the shop despite the pain but ultimately required surgery to replace the bone with artificial parts at the Huntsman Cancer Center in Salt Lake City.
Months later, while on the recovery path, Brad became very ill with staph infection. He was rushed to the University of Utah and more than once nearly died while undergoing several surgeries. After a year fighting the infection, doctors would be forced to amputate Brad’s leg, a procedure which then led to a hip replacement. And he is likely facing another hip replacement on his amputated leg as it has been determined that the other hip is deteriorating as well.
The developments have caused emotional and physical pain along with extreme financial hardship. Whatsmore, Brad will lose his current health insurance next month.
Ever-proactive in the face adversity, the Crows look forward to following their initial plan by building their home yet must continue to live out the winter in their camper inside the shop while waiting for Brad’s health to improve.
It is at this holiday juncture that Secret Santa came to call. The visit completely surprised the Crows, who welcomed the Gift Givers into their shop-home to share their story before receiving two gift-wrapped items: health coverage for a year for Brad and $50,000 dollars to fund home projects.
In an interview with Buckrail Erica Crow recalls the experience, sharing “I don’t know if we even have words to describe how we feel right now. The people who’ve come forward and the support we’ve received–even beyond [Secret Santa]–has been overwhelmingly wonderful.”
Expressing both thankfulness and humility, Erica shared that home building plans have begun. Family Crow has contacted a drafter who is now working designs for 1,000 square-foot living addition upon the workshop.
“We do have a dream for our stand alone home,” Erica said. “But after everything that’s happened we’re doing what we can, and this will be perfect for the family.”
“It’s better than living in the trailer,” she laughed.
Hosted and delivered by East Idaho News, the Secret Santa program aims to surprise many more families and individuals this year, sharing over $500,000 dollars in charitable gifts along the way.
Information from eastidahonews.com
180 N CENTER STREET Jackson
654 TURTLE WALK Victor
685 & 695 BOOSHWAY STREET Driggs
330 E GILL AVE Jackson
180 SPRING GULCH ROAD Pinedale
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