JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- It has been a difficult year for Teresa Thomas to say the least. Earlier this year she went through the worst pain a parent could ever go through.
In July, she lost her 35-year-old daughter to breast cancer.
"Even when she was sick, she would be in pain and she'd tell you she is fine," said Thomas. "She was an outgoing hilarious person."
Her daughter, Katria, left behind five children between the ages of 8 and 14. In order to avoid them being placed in foster care and possibly separated, Thomas immediately took custody.
"I'm taking care of them doing the best I can. By the grace of God I'm still here and able because I'm battling my own sickness as well."
But the bad news kept coming. She too was diagnosed with breast cancer. She's now undergoing chemotherapy while working to maintain her five grandchildren.
Eventually the financial burden became too difficult. It was then when she turned to the Salvation Army.
Thanks to the Angel Tree program, she won't have to worry about putting presents under her tree for Christmas.
"I just want it to be a Christmas for them to remember like they've never had," said Thomas.
So far, Thomas is responding well to her cancer treatment, but says her real medicine are the five children she now calls her own.
"I refuse to let it keep me down, of beating me. I knew I had to take care of my daughter and I had to think about her kids and I wouldn't give up."
Thomas and her family will be receiving their gifts this week, thanks to the generous donors that participated in the Angel Tree program