East Texan Gives Wife a Special Valentine's Day Gift - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

East Texan Gives Wife a Special Valentine's Day Gift

by Tashun Chism

There are plenty of stands set up all around East Texas for last minute Valentine's Day shoppers. But there is something about José Olalde's stand that sets it apart from all the others.

"The reason we're out here today is we're trying to raise money for my wife. She needs a liver transplant. We've been doing this for about three years now, and mainly, we usually set up for Valentine's and Mother's Day," Odalde told us.

Olalde is unemployed. But he says selling balloons and hand made baskets is helping him save money for his wife Hilda's expensive liver transplant.

"After our little boy was born I lost my job, so we couldn't get treatment and whenever we finally did it was already too late for treatment. The only option was transplant. So right now she's been on the waiting list I believe about two and a half years. So she's still got a long way to go," said Odalde.

Olalde tells us once his customers find out why he and his wife are selling holiday gifts, they're fully supportive.

"It makes me feel really good. Usually the people that find out about my wife's condition put her on their prayer list, which I really appreciate. She loves to hear that kind of stuff, too. Usually we meet people and they're very emotional about her situation and they're very supportive and that always makes us feel good," he said.

"I think it's a good sacrifice because he loves her. You know, I guess if it were up to me, I would do the same. Whatever it takes to do whatever I have to do for the one you love," said last minute shopper Debra Phillps.

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