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We all know a family in need.  The family who, for one reason or another,  life continues to bombard with curve balls.  The Cooks are one such family.

But today, Gradient,  a Minnesota-based financial services company, and their Gradient Gives Back Foundation, made the Cooks’ holiday dreams come true. The family can now stay in their home on Christmas Day. After financially struggling for more than two years, the Josh and Alicia and their five children will have their mortgage will be paid for a year.

Their emotional struggle began in February of 2012 when Chase Cook, now 16, was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma.  Almost two years later, his father Josh was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma and couldn’t work anymore.  Tumors were just removed from his tongue and neck.  In between, Alicia lost her job as a teacher.

Yet in the midst of all this tragedy and heartache and enormous stress, the Cook’s found time to give back.  The boys mowed the lawns of elderly relatives and neighbors. 12-year-old Ariana sat with her dad during long chemo sessions.  And Chase, while battling his own disease, organized a fundraiser at Worth Junior High with all the proceeds, $7,000, going to cure it and the foundation his doctor started.

It was those acts of kindness that made the Cook family stand out from the other applicants. Mike Moylan and Rob Kirvan are financial partners with Gradient and organized the big give away today.

Now there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  Nights won’t be restless.  Bills will be paid.  Chase is in remission.  Josh’s last cancer scan was clear and Alicia is now teaching in Cicero.

They can enjoy Christmas – a Christmas the Cook family will never forget.

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