Linda Kutsenkow and her daughter, Leslie, use their challenge money to ease the burden of a mother of four battling cancer. Leslie finds Kim through the Westfield Moms' Club. Kim is raising four daughters—ages 3, 6, 11 and 14. Weakened by terminal breast cancer, she is unable to work. The family has no telephone and struggles to pay the rent.
A friend donates a cell phone, which Linda and Leslie load with prepaid minutes for emergencies and helping keep up with everyone. The Kutsenkows stock the family's kitchen with groceries and pay off $1,367 in rent that the family owes. With the remaining money, they take Kim's girls out to eat and shop for clothes.
But the mother-daughter duo doesn't stop there. In addition to their $2,000, they raise another $3,000 in cash and donations of clothes, food and other items for the family. A local country club plans to sponsor Kim's family for Christmas.
Linda is blown away by the outpouring of community support for Kim. "I don't believe at any point in my life I have ever experienced anything like this," she says. "I felt emotions I didn't even know existed in me."
The challenge helps Leslie to realize how proud she is of her mother, who has taught her so much in life. "I couldn't imagine my mother being sick if I was a young child and not understanding the entire situation," she says. "You have to experience something like this to really ground you and show you what is important."
Leslie plans to keep up with Kim's daughters. "I intend to be there for these kids as a person to have fun with … because they are helping me more, I think, than I am helping them," she says.