Even small gifts change lives

Pay It Forward
December 03, 2017

Kindness for the Knechts

Michael Knecht was diagnosed with cancer and found out his daughter has type 1 diabetes all in the same year. When Bell employees found out, they stepped in to help.

Michael Knecht family with Bell Bank employees

“It’s hard for me to ask for help. It just opened my eyes even more to how people are helpful. It’s greatly appreciated.” – Michael Knecht, recipient

Bell Employees

Angie Heiden

Angie Heiden, personal banking officer, Fargo

Rhonda Aure of Bell Bank

Rhonda Aure, document imaging specialist, Fargo

Recipient

Michael Knecht and family

The Need

Michael Knecht was diagnosed with stage 4 Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system, in February and went through 6 months of chemotherapy.

Two months later, he found out his daughter Evanthea has type 1 diabetes, a chronic disease where the pancreas stops producing the necessary levels of insulin.

“It’s been a rough road for both of us,” he remarks. “It’s been a rough road for the whole family.”

The Impact

When Angie Heiden heard about the family’s struggles, she immediately wanted to help, but she had already donated her Pay It Forward funds. She asked a friend of the Knecht family to submit a request to Bell for Pay It Forward donations on the family’s behalf.

Several employees pooled their funds to offer a little kindness to the Knechts.

“They were doing everything possible to make ends meet and pay their bills,” Rhonda Aure comments. “They just get kicked again with something else and kicked again with something else.”

Next year, Angie plans to donate some of her funds to send Evanthea to Camp Sioux, a camp for kids with diabetes.

Back to Giving Stories