Back in 1983, a teenager from Walnut, Illinois, made a promise to himself.
Don King was not yet 20 years old and making just $4.25 per hour. His wife and newborn son were in the hospital in Peoria, fighting to keep alive the dream of their new family. After weeks of worry and prayer, a joyful Don and Valerie King were able to take home their healthy son, Jacob.
How they were going to pay the bill, however, was a new problem for the young couple. But when Don went in to see what he could do about taking care of it, he was met by an OSF Sister who told him, “You don’t owe us anything.”
Reflecting on that moment chokes Don up a bit. “I was raised to know that, you know what, I couldn’t take care of it then, but I was driven to make sure that someday down the road I could do something about that,” he explains. “Thank God it’s time we get to give back to other people…”
We celebrated that day this past June, 35 years after Don and Valerie King received the gift of taking their boy home. In turn, they made a wonderful gift to broaden access to care.
The King Care-A-Van is an innovative mobile health unit that will bring wellness services, health screenings, immunizations and health education to the people in rural communities.
Thank you, Don and Valerie, for sharing your gifts with others!