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WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 27, 2006
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Linda Huskey, left, hugs Opal Jackson after giving her a Dodge Intrepid to drive to doctor visits with her daughter, Donna Jackson, right, who is dying with Hepatitis C. A car was requested in a Santa letter from Donna Jackson's daughter, Alicia Marie Jackson, second from right.
Daily photo by Gary Cosby Jr.
Linda Huskey, left, hugs Opal Jackson after giving her a Dodge Intrepid to drive to doctor visits with her daughter, Donna Jackson, right, who is dying with Hepatitis C. A car was requested in a Santa letter from Donna Jackson's daughter, Alicia Marie Jackson, second from right.

Christmas
wish granted

Daily reader gives car
to struggling family

By Ronnie Thomas
rthomas@decaturdaily.com 340-2438

A belated Christmas gift that came on bitter-cold Tuesday was a heart-warmer.

Opal Jackson, 65, her daughter Donna Jackson, 39, and Donna's daughter, 3-year-old Alicia Marie Jackson, now can get to their doctors, thanks to the gift of a car by Hartselle's Linda Huskey.

Huskey, purchasing agent/facilities manager for Hartselle Utilities, said she had contacted agencies to check on donating the car, which she has owned about eight years.

Linda Huskey with Donna Jackson after Huskey gave a car to Donna Jackson's mother, Opal.
Daily photo by Gary Cosby Jr.
Linda Huskey with Donna Jackson after Huskey gave a car to Donna Jackson's mother, Opal.
"They would sell it at auction and probably not be able to get much for it," she said. "I decided I would find somebody that needed it and give it to them."

Story led to idea

She had to go no further than Thursday's Daily, where she read the story of the Jackson family's plight and about Donna Jackson's terminal illness.

Donna Jackson, who does not have a driver license, brought their ordeal to the public's attention through a Santa Claus letter she wrote The Daily on behalf of her daughter.

"If you could get my MawMaw a car, because she is sick and don't have a ride," the letter read, "... Then if I could have a Christmas wish also, (it would be) for me & Mom & MawMaw to ride together and get to places we need (to go)."

Huskey said her mother phoned and told her to read the paper, that she had found someone who needed a car.

"I told her I already had," Huskey said. "When I told my husband, Scott, what I was going to do, he said, 'Oh, I read that story.' We were all thinking the same thing."

Huskey's daughter, Mandy Johnson, spoke about the goodness of her mother.

"I've often heard her say that 'things are things and people are people.' That's the way she thinks. That's the way Mother is," Johnson said.

Opal Jackson and Donna Jackson hugged Huskey and burst into tears when she handed over the keys.

"I hope you can put (the car) to good use," Huskey said.

"I love it and I haven't even been in it," Opal Jackson said. "I'm happy to get a car."

And Donna Jackson said, "That's my dream car out there. We're all going to use it to find a place together, a home for the three of us."

They have been staying with a relative in Huntsville.

"We can't thank Mrs. Huskey enough for her generosity," Donna Jackson said.

She said she also wants to thank her former boss at the Morgan County Courthouse, Paul Dumas and his wife, Donna, a nurse at Decatur General Hospital, for bringing Christmas gifts.

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