A man with spinal muscular dystrophy was surprised with a check, gift cards to a grocery store, and a Thanksgiving meal on Thanksgiving Day by an Idaho Secret Santa.
Nate Eaton — news director of East Idaho News — took two of his children on Thanksgiving Day to visit Cesar Ibanez, who lives alone, is confined to an electric wheelchair, and is limited to the use of his hands, East Idaho News reported.
Despite Ibanez’s limitations, he overcame them to get a degree in biology at Brigham Young University- Idaho, where he now a professor.
The current electric wheelchair Ibanez has is one which he has had since the age of 17 and is very uncomfortable and old. The cushions are worn, exposing Ibanez to the metal frame of the wheelchair.
When the Idaho Secret Santa heard of Ibanez’s plight, he sent Eaton and his two children to deliver a Thanksgiving meal with extra surprises.
“I wonder who the Secret Santa is?” Ibanez said while opening his first gift, which turned out to be $2,000 in gift cards to a grocery store.
When he received his next gift, a check to pay for a replacement wheelchair, Ibanez told Eaton and his children why he was in a wheelchair since birth.
“My muscles aren’t getting a signal from my brain like they do with yours, and so over time, my muscles slowly start to turn off,” Ibanez said. “So everything you can do, I can’t do because my muscles are very weak.”
This Secret Santa has made it his mission to give away $500,000 worth of cars, cash, and other things to families in need all over Idaho this holiday season without revealing his identity.
Some of Secret Santa’s deliveries include when Eaton surprised a nurse with a car, surprised a McDonald’s worker with a car and $5,000 in gas cards, and surprised a single mother with a $20,000 check while she was at work.