Today’s blog is a little different. It comes with an invitation to change the story.
I don’t know why some people have to face as much pain as they do. Wilda Thompson is one of those people–a woman whose suffering seems unimaginable.
Wilda’s pain started early in life when her kid brother died in a plane crash. It was a foreshadowing of what was to come. In her early forties, Wilda’s husband died of brain cancer, leaving her a widow with six children to raise by herself. The loss of a spouse is always difficult, but this was only the beginning of Wilda’s afflictions. The cancer Wilda’s husband died from came from a genetic mutation called LFS. Those with the gene have a nearly 90% chance of dying from cancer. Sadly, five of Wilda’s six children inherited the gene. Since her husband’s passing, Wilda has lost four of her six children and a fifth is currently fighting cancer.
To lose a child is one of the most difficult things a parent can suffer. The pain of losing more than one is nearly incomprehensible. But, unbelievably, for Wilda, it gets worse. If you are a grandparent, you will keenly understand this. Ten of Wilda’s fourteen grandchildren inherited the gene. Five of them have already died of cancer.
Particularly heartbreaking is that not all of Wilda’s deceased loved ones have died from the gene. One of her grandchildren, a five-year-old granddaughter, made national news in 1998 when she was found dead with four other little girls who had accidentally locked themselves in the trunk of a car. Another one of Wilda’s children and grandchildren drowned when a sudden storm hit the lake they were fishing on. For three days Wilda sat on the shore while the police dragged the lake for her son’s and grandson’s bodies. I don’t know how she has survived this.
As I learned of Wilda’s suffering a friend of mine came up with an idea that will not only help Wilda, but will help thousands of children as well. An experiment in communal charity.
There was a time not so long ago that when someone’s barn burned down, the community came together to rebuild it. This is the beauty and power of community. Those days may be gone, but I believe people still have that heart. One of Wilda’s children’s last words were, “Please find a home for mom.” Ever since Wilda became a widow, she has lived, with her children, in whatever housing she could afford, bouncing from apartment to apartment. Wilda is no slacker. She has worked tirelessly to provide for her family her whole life. (Except for the times that she’s had to care for a dying child.) Raising a family as a single mother is always difficult, but add massive medical bills to the equation, and, well, you get the picture.
This is how we can help. A generous, anonymous donor has put money down on an inexpensive condo we would like to purchase for Wilda to live in for the rest of her life. (She’s currently 72) Upon her death, the condo will be sold and the proceeds will go to pay off the Christmas Box House, a home for abused children. Since its inception the Christmas Box House has housed and aided more than 75,000 abused children. If everyone who reads this blog makes a small donation, just $2, we can not only help a widow now, but we will help abused children for decades to come. (Of course you can donate more.)
The Bible tells us that pure religion is to comfort the widow and the fatherless. This is precisely what I am inviting you to join us in doing. To not only make a small donation, but to share this link with others. If you can’t afford a donation, and some can’t, then please share this link. That too is a donation. We can’t bring Wilda’s loved ones back. We can’t even save her grandchildrens’ lives. But we can make a difference in her life–and then the lives of thousands of abused children to come.
I have looked intensely into this story and know it to be true. (Recently the Deseret News, ran a two-part story on Wilda. The above photograph is courtesy of Deseret News.) I know there are many in our world who need help. And maybe our community can’t help everyone, but that’s no excuse not to help someone. Thank you for your consideration. Thank you for sharing. To make a donation just click here. Or mail a check to the Wilda Thompson Charitable Account, America First Credit Union, P.O. Box 9199, Ogden, Utah, 84409-0199. 100% will go to pay for the home. If there is any extra money raised, it will go to help abused and neglected children. Blessings. And thank you for helping. I will keep you updated on our progress on the Richard Paul Evans Facebook Page.
Photographer: Jeffrey D. Allred. Courtesy Deseret News.
Richard Paul Evans is the #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Christmas Box and the Michael Vey series. He is the author of more than 25 bestselling books. For speaking requests email email@example.com