BOISE - Before December 4, Sarah Carlin and Dori Healey were perfect strangers, and what brought them together was a Christmas wish.
It all started on a post on KTVB's Facebook page asking you to fill in the blank about the gift at the top of your shopping list.
That's when Carlin commented, "A headstone for my daughter's grave would be on my list if I had extra money. But instead it will be warm clothes and food for her brother."
It didn't take long for Healey to see that comment.
"I just could not picture for the life of me this 5-and-a-half-year-old girl not having a headstone," Healey said.
Carlin's daughter Cheyenne was born at 25 weeks gestation when Carlin was just 19 years old.
"She never learned how to talk or walk or anything like that," Carlin said.
She says it was amazing that Cheyenne even lived. She was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy shortly after birth.
"There were additional costs that they don't cover that I signed for knowing that I was going to be making payments for forever and ever," Carlin said. "But when it's your child and it's something, even if it's a small chance that it could help them you do it."
Cheyenne died when she was just 5-and-half years old and has been buried at Dry Creek Cemetery for the last 10 years without a headstone, just a small marking.
"I've never been able to quite let go because there's been nowhere to go and it means that my son will have somewhere to go when he's older and show his children."
On Monday morning, Healey began her mission.
"To know that she's worked for 10 years trying to save money and it's just hasn't happened due to various things I just knew that I could change that," said Carlin.
She called Boise Valley Monument Company and figured out how much it would cost.
In under 24 hours Healey raised $1,100 to go toward paying for the headstone
"She's my angel, she's my Christmas angel," Carlin said. "She's a perfect stranger to me but I don't think she's ever going to be a stranger to me again. I have a feeling that we will keep in touch and be friends."
This is the gift that will keep giving. Healey says says once they pay for the headstone, which will cost around $500, a portion of the remaining amount will go to Carlin and her family as a Christmas gift. Healey says the rest she plans will go to the Boise School District to pay overdue balances.
If you'd like to help, you can donate via PayPal. Healey's email address is email@example.com.
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