Brigham City boy with brain cancer is one of many receiving acts of kindness thanks to anonymous donor’s pay it forward initiative

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BRIGHAM CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – An anonymous donor is sending some residents a $100 bill with the catch, that they must carry out a kind act of service for someone else.

“So, we opened it up and there’s a $100 in there and a letter,” said Brigham City resident Steve Odenthal.

“It said, ‘Hello, we would like you to make a change for the good,’” said Steve’s wife, Valerie Odenthal.

The Odenthals are one of several families receiving this “make a change for good” letter enclosed with a $100 bill. They say as far as they know, no one knows who the anonymous sender is — even with a return address going to a local UPS mailbox.

The Odenthals said there are others in the community who received a $100 bill with the exact same letter, asking people to do good for others.

“It’s just a neat situation that we’ve been blessed to do this for this family,” Steve Odenthal said.

“We’re seeing miracles, it’s cool,” Valerie Odenthal said.

The Odenthals say they knew a number of people that could use the help, but they say, they both knew 9-year-old Benji Norman and his family needed their help.

They gave the Norman’s the $100 and decided there was more they could do to help. And now, with the support of the community, they’re hosting a family fun fair on Saturday.

“This won’t be a trip to Disneyland, but this will be a community coming together with a focus on this family and their situation,” said Steve Odenthal.

Overwhelmed with emotions of gratitude, David and Allison Norman (Benji’s parents) say they appreciate the support the community is showing them.

“It’s just like all the sudden whoosh, all this love and support is just poured out on us and we almost don’t know how to handle it. It’s just so humbling,” said Allison Norman.

“And the first reaction is overwhelmed and kinda bulled over, and that hasn’t changed,” said David Norman.

The Normans say their son, Benji, was diagnosed with brain cancer in March and the severity required him to receive proton therapy in Seattle, Wash.

“It’s like our worst nightmare, you know,” Allison Norman said. “To be told our little baby has a brain tumor…especially when he has to deal with so much with his autism already.”

The Normans are now back in Utah and will be taking Benji to Primary Children’s Hospital for the next year as he undergoes an aggressive chemotherapy.

With medical expenses piling up, David and Allison Norman say they’re grateful for the generosity the $100s have sparked and hope when life settles down, they will be able to give back to those in need.

“It’s [Benji’s brain cancer] made me want to be more involved,” David Norman said. “We want to be able to pay it forward.”

“Yeah, and we want to show people the same love we’ve been shown,” said Allison Norman.

Benji’s Family Fun Fair is Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at ACE Hardware, 220 N. Main Street, Brigham City. The event is free with an opportunity to donate.   

A GoFundMe page has also been set up to help the family with medical expenses. Click here to donate.

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