Unknown Santa Changes a Family's Life

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Two years ago Ann Yurcek set out to write a remarkable story that has now inspired people across the world. Eighteen years ago, she and her husband Jim were skipping meals to feed children, boiling water on the stove and the facing empty Christmas stockings. Their baby Becca was dying, Jim was about to become unemployed and they faced catastrophic medical bills. The mysterious abundance of gifts dropped on their doorstep on Christmas Eve inspired the family to go on. The story has been recreated and featured in Japan, December 12, 2007 as the: Worlds Amazing News, Nippon Television, NTV.

A Christmas miracle about a tiny dying baby and the Yurcek family has been spreading across the country, but soon that story will be shared globally. The Yurcek's Christmas story told in a chapter of Ann's book Tiny Titan, Journey of Hope was broadcast last December by Madison TV Channel 3000 entitled "Battling Back From Poverty: A Christmas Miracle: http://www.channel3000.com/news/10586924/detail.html.

In September representatives from Nippon Television found the Christmas story and contacted the family. Recently they sent representatives to the family home in Lancaster, Wisconsin to interview and film for the upcoming recreation to be shown on December 12 across Japan. The touching story of an amazing miracle that happened on Christmas Eve eighteen years ago to a desperate family will be broadcast nationwide as a mini documentary. The feature will be a part of "The World's Amazing News right before Christmas.

Eighteen years ago in 1989, with five children and a dying baby Yurceks were in need of a miracle. By Christmas, a once struggling middle-income family had fallen into the costs of catastrophic medical and financial disaster. With hundreds of thousands of dollars of medical bills to save their tiny daughter, born with a severe form of Noonan Syndrome the family was desperate. Christmas was coming. Their baby was dying. Their cupboards were bare and they had nothing to give their children for Christmas

On Christmas Eve, the family drove to the hospital to visit baby Becca. She was in heart failure with a compromised immune system, pneumonia, and a systemic staph infection. Ann prayed for a miracle. "We may not have gifts, but what we do have is family. We need hope." The story of how that Christmas prayer was answered is now being shared with the world.

When the family arrived home late that night, the front porch held a Christmas miracle.. More than a dozen trash bags were filled with gifts and groceries and the hope she had prayed for. Marissa, age 5, asked, "Why did Santa leave presents on the steps?" Ian, age 7 answered, "With all of this dummy there was no way Santa could come down the chimney," and Kristi, age 10 added, :Besides the door is locked."

Miracles didn't stop at the doorstep, just after midnight, the family received a phone call from the hospital. Becca's condition had been upgraded. She was stable and they later discovered the unknown Santa had also paid all the utility bills.

To this day the family has no idea who the secret Santa was. The Yurcek family was blessed that Christmas and inspired to move forward.

This generosity inspired Jim to make a career change to help his family by attending medical school. The family united behind him to deliver nearly a quarter of a million newspapers to survive Jim graduated near the top of his class. Ann continued to pray.

After graduation and before moving to Kalamazoo, Michigan for surgical residency, the family wanted to give back. They opened their hearts and adopted the family nobody wanted. They reunited six brothers and sisters separated in the foster care system. Soon the Yurceks discovered their experience with special needs and advocacy gained by life experience Becca would be just what they needed when they discovered their new children Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) and other challenges.

The Yurceks continue to remember that first miracle of answered prayers and the hope they were provided. While in Michigan the family founded the nationally recognized "Backpacks for Kids Program". They stuffed backpacks with school supplies for more than 5000 needy children in Kalamazoo County, Michigan and continued their program in Grant County, Wisconsin.

"It not a hand out; it's a hand up until you can stand on your own two feet. Jim and I have been down and out. We've nearly lost everything more than one. The results of someone or someones who care provided the catalyst for us to not only change, but become future miracle Santas, There is always someone you know who needs a miracle, and if we have the opportunity we return the hope the was given to us." says Ann Yurcek. "It's about making someone's load a little lighter because you have walked it."

Although the next part of their journey took incredible fortitude, the family and Becca survived. Becca believes in Santa, and now the Yurceks believe in the power of Santa and giving and share their hope and the miracles of that night with you.

For the Yurcek family Christmas is a time of reflection and healing. They share their Christmas Miracle to offer hope and faith in the goodness of others.. The Yurceks have posted their Christmas story as a gift to you this Holiday on the family's website.
http://www.tinytitan.org .

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Ann Yurcek (interviews available)

Jodee Kulp
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