Lifestyle & Human Interest

Secret Santa Surprises Adoptive Dad Who Fought Cancer with Christmas Miracle: $50K


An anonymous donor from Idaho gifted $50,000 and health insurance for a year to Brad Crow and his family as a way to wish them a Merry Christmas.

Crow, who lives with his wife, Erica, and their two adopted children, has been through a season fraught with medical crisis, pain and financial devastation.

When he was 14, Crow was diagnosed with bone cancer. He ultimately beat the cancer through radiation, chemotherapy and surgery to replace a bone in his leg.

Crow, who works in construction, decided to begin building a home for his family last summer on their Idaho property. But in the early stages of the project, Crow fractured a bone in his leg and needed surgery to replace the bone, echoing his cancer ordeal.

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The surgery was considered a success until Crow developed a staph infection that left him hospitalized and fighting for his life.

“I almost died a few times, it was pretty scary,” Crow told East Idaho News. This past spring, Crow had to have his leg amputated.

As if the amputation was not enough for one person to manage, Crow’s hip bones had started to deteriorate and he had a hip replacement shortly after the amputation.

Crow’s health complications have left him without work for over a year, causing extreme financial strain on the family. Erica has kept her job as a school bus driver to bring in as much income as she can.

The family has also been living in their camper in a shop Crow built until his health improves enough for him build their home.

It was Erica’s sister who nominated the Crow family to benefit from a gift from the community Secret Santa. Each season, a mysterious donor in the Idaho neighborhood, known as Secret Santa, gives money away to needy families in the area.

In order to maintain anonymity, Secret Santa asks journalists from East Idaho News to deliver all the money and gifts to the selected families every day in December until Christmas.

Erica was moved to tears as she opened her family’s gift — $50,000 to help with building their new home, plus a year’s worth of health insurance for Brad, who otherwise would have been uninsured in 2020.

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“No,” she gasped in amazement when she saw the amount written on the check.

The blessing came at a time when the Crow family needed it the most. Through all the hardship, Crow said they have relied on their faith to give them hope.

“Just got to keep going,” Crow said. “Have faith everything is going to be okay. That’s all you can do.”

Secret Santa has helped the Idaho community for four years in a row, this year giving away a total of $500,000 to families selected from a list of nominees.

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A graduate of Grand Canyon University, Kim Davis has been writing for The Western Journal since 2015, focusing on lifestyle stories.
Kim Davis began writing for The Western Journal in 2015. Her primary topics cover family, faith, and women. She has experience as a copy editor for the online publication Thoughtful Women. Kim worked as an arts administrator for The Phoenix Symphony, writing music education curriculum and leading community engagement programs throughout the region. She holds a degree in music education from Grand Canyon University with a minor in eating tacos.
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