Christmas brings out the best in people

Published 8:29 pm Saturday, December 24, 2016

Dylan is a 20-year-old young man with severe autism. Up until this past year he was living with his mother day in and day out. She was his lifeline to the world. His father was a remote paramedic who worked months in a row out of the country to support the family.

Last Christmas his father came down with a severe liver problem that nearly cost him his life. Nobody knew it at the time, but his mother was also suffering through her own bout with cancer. His father survived, however months later his mother passed.

In Colorado Springs, Colo., life was beginning to change for Dylan. His mother was gone, and his dad, now needing to find work, couldn’t travel abroad anymore, as he needed to be there for his son’s needs. Money was running out fast. They were on the verge of being evicted from their home. Plans needed to be made for the future. His father spent much of their last savings on an RV so they could move to Arizona. Dylan could be much closer to family there.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Without a job and no one waiting for them, Dylan and his dad set out to Arizona. Once there, living proved to be tougher than expected. For two grown men, living in an RV can be tough for a weekend camping trip, but try for three months. Ultimately his dad found a job —didn’t pay very much, but got them out of the RV and into an apartment. Moving into an apartment is one thing; however, being back on your feet financially is something completely different.

As the two were trying to catch up on finances, Christmas was coming around again. Dylan had been through so much this past year that his father wanted him to have a nice Christmas but was unable to provide one on his own. He took to Facebook to share his story, thoughts and thanks with all who had helped them along their journey this past year. And what happened? People happened!

Friends and family began sending money and gifts to Dylan so he could have a nice Christmas.

For those who don’t know Dylan, he is absolutely one of the most humble, kind hearted, amazing people in this world. His autism allows him to see the world in a different way than those without it. Unbeknownst to him, Dylan is the kind of person who makes you a better person by watching and being around him. I am proud to be in the same family as he. You see, Dylan’s father is my cousin, although we are more like brothers.

You often hear of stories like these around this time of year. You never expect that you will be a part of it, or that it will hit this close to home. But when it does, you get the opportunity to really see how great the generosity of people can be.

There are individuals all over the world who are working through their own struggles today. If given the opportunity, be the one that changes a bad day into a good day for someone else. This will truly be the best Christmas gift you will ever give.    

Rich Macke is publisher of The Port Arthur News. Contact him at