STARK COUNTY, Ohio – There was no crime or 911 emergency, this was a house call the Stark County Sheriff’s Department was more than happy to make.
A reunion in Massillon between Deputy Mike Greene and homeowner Erin Wise happened just days after she received possibly the worst news in her life: her 4-year-old son Tegan’s cancer might be returning.
He was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer just shy of his second birthday and had been in remission since June of this year.
Wise says, "Obviously, it was devastating. You find out that your child has cancer and they're telling you it's very curative; it's very curable, but it does tend to come back."
On the same exact day of receiving that grim news about her son, Erin says she and her husband hadn’t eaten all day. She decided to come to this Chipotle in Canton where she noticed the deputies behind her in line.
Deputy Greene said, "She didn't ask for anything in return. She had paid for the meal, and was walking out."
While thanking Erin for her generosity in buying lunch, Deputy Greene and his wife Rebecca, who is a detective, would soon learn about the ordeal Erin and her family were going through.
The deputies decided they wanted to give back to the family, but they never asked for Erin’s name.
Fortunately, they took a picture with her at the restaurant. So they posted it on the Stark County Sheriff’s Facebook page in hopes of finding her.
It worked! And now, their gift to her?
"We are going to include her entire family with what's called 'Shop with a Sheriff' on December 16th. And that will include a breakfast with the family and the kids will be with Santa."
As the family awaits the test results to see if Tegan’s cancer has returned, they are hoping their story inspires others to give back this holiday season, no matter the circumstances.
"No matter what's going on in your world, there’s always a way to pay it forward to somebody else."