Cheers to You!
The first cheer goes to Debbe Magnusen, a suburban mother who found her calling when she read an article about an abandoned baby found dead in her community. To help save other babies, Debbe founded Project Cuddle, a hotline for pregnant women in trouble who need help raising their babies or finding adoptive families.
In the 10 years since she started Project Cuddle at her kitchen table, Debbe has helped save more than 570 lives! "I don't think she has any idea how many lives she has changed permanently for the better," says Elizabeth, an adoptive mother that Debbe has helped. "She is here for a reason. She is an absolute gift."
When John knocks on her door, Debbe is so excited and nervous she almost starts crying. "What are you doing here?" she says.
"I can't tell you why I'm here because I have strict orders, but I'm taking you to a secret location," John says. "You have 10 minutes to get ready, and I'm going to whisk you away in a limo."
During the ride, the limousine's windows are covered so Debbe can't peek—and she has no idea where they are headed. "This is so silly! I'm in a limo, blacked-out windows, with John Stamos plugging my ears," Debbe says.
Some of the families want to tell Debbe thank you for everything she has done for them. "How do you describe somebody who makes impossible dreams come true?" says Quinn, an adoptive mother helped by Debbe. "If it weren't for Debbe, there would be a lot of desperate birth families out there and a lot of very empty adoptive families."
The very first baby Debbe helped, Sabrina, is now 10 years old. "Thank you for helping us, bringing us together, helping our dreams come true," says Kia, Sabrina's adoptive mother. Another family eager to honor Debbe is much newer—Patrick and Jennifer just adopted their baby, Grace. "I just wanted to thank you for giving us the blessing of a daughter and for making us a family," Jennifer says. "This is a dream come true."
As part of the celebration of Debbe's hard work, Disney treats her and all the families she has helped to a day of fun at Disneyland, guided by Mickey, Minnie and their friends!
In honor of Debbe's tireless devotion to saving lives, Johnson's® Baby is giving her a VIP card—which means each of her new mothers for the next five years will receive free Johnson's baby products! BabyCenter.com will also give each new family baby gear and a glider to help rock the precious newborns to sleep.
At 16, Karen's plans took a sudden turn when she became pregnant with her oldest daughter. She managed to stay in school and earn her diploma, but her hopes for a medical career were put on hold. "I was supposed to be the first one to go to college. I felt like I let everyone down," Karen says. "I was devastated, and it devastated my family as well."
By age 29, Karen had five children and a husband who didn't support her college dreams. "He didn't think that we had the time or the money," Karen says. "I finally realized that he was never going to say it was the time. I enrolled without telling him."
Karen eventually left her husband and decided to pursue a nursing career. "I realized there was no way I was going to get into medical school with five kids," she says.
Karen eventually became a nurse and a grandmother, but a little voice inside told her she could have more. "I finally had to admit to myself that I still wanted to be a doctor," she says. "I could not bring myself to say it out loud to anyone. I was just so afraid that people would think I was crazy."
Quietly, she began applying to medical schools. "I remember filling out every application and thinking, 'They're just going to laugh this application off their desk,'" she says.
Not only did they not laugh, but Karen became the first grandmother ever to enter the Yale School of Medicine! "It just blew me away. When I was dreaming, I don't think I had dreamt this big," she says.
A video is cued up and Oprah appears on the screen! "Here on The Oprah Show we're doing a show called 'Cheers to You.' I just happened to hear about a remarkable person in your class," Oprah says. "Will Karen Morris please stand up?"
With Karen's classmates cheering, Oprah continues. "Your classmates say your enthusiasm and your curiosity and your dedication are an inspiration to all of them," Oprah says. "So I want everyone to stand and join me in giving Karen a big, 'Cheers to you!'"
But that's not all… "And one more thing, Karen. I want you to pack your bags because you're coming to The Oprah Show!"
Karen also has a new man in her life—her husband, William, who married her, school loans and all. "I'll be a senior citizen when I pay it off, but that's okay," Karen says. "He married me anyway!" The good news is that Karen won't have to worry about school loans anymore—thanks to AMBI Skin Care, Karen's school debts will be wiped clean!
In Cheyenne's absence, her husband, Ronn, holds down the fort. "I think Christmastime was the toughest time for them because my wife is really big on tradition and Christmas, so they're used to putting the tree up with Mom, doing the shopping," Ronn says. "They didn't want to put up a tree this year. They didn't want to have anything to do with Christmas because Mom wasn't here."
Although Cheyenne is 6,000 miles away, a special program brings her home every time her kids play a DVD. United Through Reading allows military moms and dads to record themselves reading bedtime stories on DVDs and to mail them home.
Ronn says the kids run to the mailbox every day looking for messages from their mommy, which come about every two or three weeks. "When they're having their down days, they can go in and pop in a DVD and there's Mom," Ronn says. "It's not so much just reading the books, but it's the personal feel because she sends a little greeting. She talks to them like she's sitting in front of them and she sends me a message here and there so I don't feel left out."
The kids also have big plans for their mom when they finally see her. "I'm going to hug her and then tickle her," Christian says.
Thanks to a special surprise, this family won't have to wait much longer! "Kaitlyn, Christian, Renee, I have some news for you," Oprah says. "Your mom is going to be home just in time for Mother's Day. Come out, Cheyenne!"
Now that she's home safe and sound, Cheyenne says her kids have grown up so much since she's been gone. "Especially my babies. I'm just…I'm shocked," she says. "It's all still very surreal to me."
The chemotherapy and steroids used to fight the disease ravaged Charlie's fragile body and caused him to gain weight.
Charlie had his own set of guardian angels—Katie, Lauren, Kelly, Maureen, Jeri and Stephanie. They are the dedicated nurses who run the cancer clinic at Chicago's Children's Memorial Hospital. As pediatric oncology nurses, every day brings heartache and joy. The hours are long, the emotions run high and every family of every little patient is desperate for hope. "They're the best at what they do. I trust them completely with the care of my son," Chrissy says.
The extra TLC the nurses give Charlie puts him at ease, and it means everything to Mark and Chrissy. "Our kids are the most important things in our lives and the way they're cared for is so important to us," Chrissy says. "We just appreciate that they treat Charlie as well as we treat Charlie."
She reads them part of the e-mail that Chrissy wrote. "We could not have gotten through this difficult time without the support and love of the staff at Children's Memorial. … These nurses really are our angels."
Because these women spend their lives taking care of others, Oprah wants them to receive some TLC. At the end of the day, a limousine is waiting to take Charlie's nurses to Bliss Spa.
After their night of pampering, Katie, Lauren, Stephanie, Kelly, Maureen and Jeri come to The Oprah Show. And they have a very special visitor—little Charlie is here to say thank you!