‘Pay It Forward’ Story Touches The Heart of Viewer

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Every once in a while, you see a story that hits close to home or it touches your heart. A Huntsville woman says one of our Pay It Forward stories did just that earlier this year, so she wrote us a letter.

It began with, “Dear Amy, I saw your picture on TV last night as you tried to raise money for cystic fibrosis.”

Essie Coppock was watching the night Stan Anderson paid it forward to Amy Carter of Athens. As soon as Amy got the check for $319, she gave it back to him to help find a cure for people who suffer with CF. That act of kindness touched Miss Essie’s heart.

You see, Amy has cerebral palsy and for 24 of her 35 years, she’s raised money for CF.

Essie said, “Her passion for cystic fibrosis, even though she has problems of her own, I mean multiple problems of her own, I was just touched by her story and the fact that she was trying to give back to something that she thought God put on her heart.”

Amy can’t walk, but says people with CF can’t breathe. So when she was 9 years old, she decided to try to make a difference. She’s now raised more than $30,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. And that number is about to grow.

In the letter Miss Essie wrote, she told Amy, “I was so touched by your story that I’m enclosing a check made out to Cystic Fibrosis.” She sent that check to WHNT News 19 and explained that her granddaughter has lived with CF for 22 years.

We were so moved by Miss Essie’s generosity, we arranged for her to give the check to Amy in person. When we walked into the Limestone Health Facility where Amy lives, we were greeted with open arms. Amy’s mom was there. Stan and his 5-year-old daughter Ella Kate who has cystic fibrosis were also there. She and Amy became best friends forever after meeting at a CF fundraiser.

Amy’s now raising money for Ella Kate’s team in the Great Strides walk this weekend. Miss Essie’s donation will go a long way in that effort. When Miss Essie told Amy she was making a $500 donation to CF in honor of her and her granddaughter, Amy looked at Ella Kate and said, “We’ve got more money for you!”

After giving Amy a hug, Miss Essie walked away saying, “She’s quite a remarkable young lady. She’s so sweet, so caring.” Their meeting was a perfect example that Paying It Forward isn’t about the money we give away each week. It’s about the treasures we find along the way.

Cystic Fibrosis affects about 30,000 children and adults in the U.S. alone. New drugs and therapies are helping patients live longer and research to find a cure is more promising than ever before. But that costs money. Alabama’s Cystic Fibrosis Foundation will hold its Great Strides walk Saturday at Bridge Street Towne Center. Registration begins at 9 a.m. and the walk starts at 10 a.m.

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