Mother who just overcame breast cancer given Christmas tree - East Idaho News
Idaho Falls

Mother who just overcame breast cancer given Christmas tree

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IDAHO FALLS — After medical bills began piling up, a local mother was left wondering if she would be able to bring Christmas to her daughters this year.

But one local business and the Idaho Falls YMCA stepped up to help.

At their annual Christmas party Friday, Northwest Cosmetics Laboratories presented the woman and her family with a decorated Christmas tree.

Cristina Anderson, a single mother of two daughters ages 6 and 8, was one of the first people to be chosen. She was diagnosed in October 2017 with aggressive stage 3 breast cancer. Anderson, a full-time UPS driver, had enrolled her daughters in programs at the YMCA when she received the diagnosis, and she says they were a great support.

“I remember calling Donovan (an employee at the YMCA), and I remember him saying, ‘Godspeed, I’m here with you,'” Anderson said.

This left a lasting impression on her as she fought the disease.

Anderson and her daughters choose a tree at the Northwest Cosmetics Laboratories Christmas Party. | Eric Grossarth

One year later, Anderson is in remission, but the medical bills linger. She was left unsure if she would be able to provide a Christmas for her daughters due to her financial situation. She has returned to UPS part-time in the office, but she is unable to work as a delivery driver due to the demands it would have on her body.

That’s when the Idaho Falls YMCA stepped in, calling Anderson on Thursday with the news that she would be honored at the Northwest Cosmetics Laboratories Christmas Party and given the gift of a tree.

“I was humbled by it and grateful that they considered us. It’s not often we are on this side of this, not being able to give back to others. I’m just grateful,” Anderson says.

Northwest Cosmetics Laboratories, the company who partnered with the Idaho Falls YMCA assigned a tree to each of the eight departments of the company to decorate, and all of them will be given to the families.

“One of our missions we have developed is do something positive for the community,” said Michael Hughes, CEO of Northwest Cosmetics Laboratories. “Some of the people on our HR team came up with the idea, ‘Why don’t we create some Christmas trees that will be given through our partners at the YMCA to eight families who otherwise might not have a Christmas tree?'”

Following Anderson’s tree presentation, Northwest Cosmetics delivered the remaining seven trees to other families in the community.