Woman with 'zombie' condition thankful for help
Valerie Lee's faith has been put to the test.
“Life for me has been hard,” the 38-year-old mother of 4 explained. “Sometimes I do feel like a zombie because of my appearance."
Lee recently went blind in one eye, nearly lost all of her teeth and hasn't been able to work ever since a deadly illness impacted the way her body regulates calcium.
“I just kind of gave up for a long time," she told Fox San Antonio’s Ryan Wolf.
But at Peace Apostolic Pentecostal Church on the West Side, Lee has found a renewed sense of hope and purpose in life.
“I thank you for sending that angel to me," Lee said, while kneeling down in prayer at the church. “I do see her as a gift from God."
While the disorder has taken a toll on her both physically and emotionally, Lee said she’s now getting the care she needs thanks to a fellow church member's kindness.
“I'm finally able to do something for her," Lee said about the nomination on CASH FOR KINDNESS.
And it came as quite a surprise to Judy Briggs.
“Oh my goodness!” Briggs said when she entered the church and saw Lee. “What are you doing here?"
Briggs is a nurse practitioner who works at a clinic in Hondo, a small city west of San Antonio. She has been providing free medical care for Lee over the last year.
“I called Ryan today because I can't say to you in words how much of an angel you are to me," Lee told the mother of two.
Briggs lost her father in a car crash 20 years ago. She said her mother died 3 months later from a broken heart.
She shared how the death of her parents helped shape her love for humanity.
“There was an old message my mother taught me once and it basically said ‘If I can help someone, as I pass along throughout my life, then my living won't be in vein,’" she said.
Wolf shared the news of her surprise nomination.
“I have a program on Fox San Antonio called CASH FOR KINDNESS,” he said.
“Oh my goodness!” Briggs said with a shocked look on her face.
“Are you familiar with it?” Wolf asked.
“Yes sir!” she answered with a smile. “I've seen it.”
“Well, you are a recipient of it today," Wolf responded.
He handed her a stack of one hundred dollar bills.
Briggs counted the money in the aisle of the church.
“$600, $700, $800, $900, $1,000!” Briggs said. “Oh my Lord."
“I’m overwhelmed,” Briggs said as she started to tear. “I honestly can't say thank you enough."
She plans to use her CASH FOR KINDNESS prize to help put together care packages for the homeless.
“It makes me know that my mission in life is worth it, every day that I go to my job," she explained.
Lee called it divine intervention.
“I love you,” she said while hugging Briggs.
“Oh my gosh, I love you so much too," Briggs said with a smile during the embrace.
Click here to nominate someone you know for the $1,000 CASH FOR KINDNESS award.