57 Minute Miracle: A look back at 2017's miracles
As Thanksgiving approaches, ABC 57 kicks off its annual week of 57 Minute Miracles. Jess Arnold checks in with some of last year's recipients to reflect on the experience and see how they spent their $570.
How a 57 Minute Miracle works:
The team heads around Michiana searching for a person who knows someone else who needs or deserves a little boost.
If that miracle maker can take the ABC 57 team to the person they were thinking of in 57 minutes, they'll get $570.
The first miracle of 2017 actually became the fastest one of the season.
That envelope landed in the hands of Diana Gilbert, a waitress in Rochester whose husband was diagnosed with kidney failure two years ago.
Her husband, Todd, joined her for the reunion.
“if you would have seen me last year, it would have been a lot different . I gained probably 30 pounds since last year. I was really bad, so I’ve come a long way. I’m waiting for a new kidney, so if anybody out there has a kidney, I need one," said Todd Gilbert.
His wife, Diana, said the miracle couldn't have come at a better time.
“I’ve been up and down, had good news and bad news, was in the hospital, out of the hospital, needed surgery, didn’t need surgery, it was just back and forth, it was just all that stuff was bottle up in me, and when you guys helped me out, all my emotions come running out," she said.
She and Todd said they spent most of the money on bills and Christmas.
"After you guys left, we had other customers come in and donate money to us...We probably received probably a thousand dollars after your guys’ money," said Diana.
“Just very thankful for you guys and the small community we have," said Gloria Calhoun, owner of The Streamliner in Rochester, who became 2017's first miracle maker.
“I’m a proud guy. I don’t like getting free stuff, but it was really nice, people reached out that you don’t even know to help you out in a time that you need it," said Todd.
One of the best reactions of 2017 comes out of South Bend, where the team started in Cutrageous, a local barber shop.
The owners helped surprise their bed-ridden great aunt with one of the miracles she had watched happening on TV for years.
“Throughout my life, that has been one of the most rewarding things that has ever happened to me, because it was like I didn’t do anything to deserve it," said Shirley Pope.
Shirley ended up re-gifting the money before moving to Arizona to live with her son.
"Believe it or not, I gave a lot to charity...you know when you’re blessed with something like that, you just feel like you got to pass it on, you know?” she said.
“For her to be as touched as she was and just gracious. And she talks about it all the time…she didn’t think she deserved it, and she so did," said her niece, Sanita Davis, who helped make the miracle happen.
“Now that’s what you call blessings baby," said Shirley.
The 2018 season of 57 Minute Miracles starts on Monday, November 12.