Stranger's kindness helps waitress visit ailing father out-of-state

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She didn?t have enough money to visit her cancer-stricken father -- until a restaurant patron used her own bonus and donated money to send her (KTRK)

When Erica Stidham celebrated her daughter's eighth birthday with a pizza party at Memorial City Mall, her waitress, Krista delivered a special surprise: She arranged a greeting from her grandparents via Skype.

"That was how it all began," Stidham said.

Stidham then learned Krista's father was fighting liver cancer.

"My heart just sank because my dad was recently diagnosed with debilitating disease and I couldn't imagine not being able to be where he was when he was sick," Stidham said.

As a single mother to five-year-old Ethan, Krista doesn't have enough money to visit her father in Ohio and she hasn't seen him in five years.

"I recently received a bonus and I knew I wanted to give it to her to be able to make her dream happen," Stidham said.

Stidham reached out to Facebook friends and shared Krista's story.

Krista remembered her first thought.

"I was shocked. I didn't expect any of this," she said.

A fundraiser online netted $950 quickly. The two plane tickets for Krista and her son cost just about that -- $940.

Stidham said, "Oh, I live my life for this. I work hard so I can give generously."

Now, Krista can pay for other expenses through the generosity of strangers.

"Yeah, I hit my rock bottom and over the past year it's been coming into place. I've been wanting to see my dad. I was gonna wait for my income tax, but now I can fix my truck. Everything happens for a reason," she said.
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