Lavonne Gilbertson

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Lavonne Gilbertson attended The Oprah Winfrey Show with her daughter Angela Goren, who used her challenge money to take a family shopping at Minnesota's Mall of America. Lavonne decides to help another family with her $1,000.

Through a friend, Lavonne hears about Karleen, a wife and mother of two children disabled by inoperable brain tumors. She cannot move her left side and uses a wheelchair to get around.

Lavonne learns that a special brace, not covered by insurance, could help Karleen move around more easily—so Lavonne decides to buy it! With the remaining money, Lavonne replaces Karleen's living room carpet with wood so she can go into the living room in her wheelchair.

Karleen is grateful for the brace and the new floor that will help her regain her mobility. And Lavonne is grateful to have met Karleen through the challenge. "I have a new friend," she says. "I will send her cards [and] visit her at home or at work, Apple Valley Parks and Recreation Department, where she is missed as secretary."