Deputy’s single “random act of kindness” touches cancer patient and many others
Desiree Correa recently made a new friend and has a new hero, after a chance encounter and completely random act of kindness renewed her spirit and left her thankful for the small and simple act that has touched her and so many others in such a big way.
The Upland resident explained she was recently diagnosed with cervical cancer and has been living life day-to-day, while adjusting to her current illness and medical crisis. Having been diagnosed just four months ago, Correa said she is still coming to terms with the despair her current crisis and disruption are causing in her life. “I have missed a lot of work lately due to doctors appointments, surgeries and constantly feeling sick,” Correa explained.
With her life and daily struggles seeming to close in on her, things came to a head in what could have otherwise been a frustrating and potentially embarrassing situation. The unexpected incident occurred on Friday, April 22.
“Today I was at the grocery store and I picked out my family’s groceries, thinking I had more money on my card than I actually did,” Correa explained. Once at the register, Correa realized she did not have enough money to pay for the groceries she had selected.
Correa described what anyone might find to be a humiliating experience that can and probably has happened to just about everyone at some point. However, considering her current medical situation and struggles, it was more than she could bear to deal with at the time.
“Once I got to the checkout and realized I did not have enough money to cover what I had just picked out, I had to put most of my groceries back,” Correa explained. “I had my three daughters – ages 12,10, and 4 – with me and it took everything I had not to cry while I was still inside the store.”
Correa said once she got out of the store – with what few groceries she could afford – the tears started flowing and just wouldn’t seem to stop.
With her entire life interrupted while dealing with so much stress already, this was just one too many things to go wrong. All at once, Correa’s fears, frustration and uncertainty for her and her family’s future completely overwhelmed her.
Right at that moment, when Correa needed a bit of kindness the most, an on-duty Rancho Cucamonga Police officer happened to pull up behind her.
Correa’s angel, identified as Deputy Matt McAllister of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Rancho Cucamonga Police Station, must have seen Correa crying, because as he pulled his patrol vehicle near her, Correa heard a kind voice ask, “Excuse me miss, why are you crying?”
McAllister parked his patrol vehicle and approached Correa and her daughters. “When he asked me what had happened, I just let it all out,” Correa explained.
Without hesitation, McAllister “took us back into the store, purchased our groceries, and gave me a great pep talk,” according to Correa. Her grocery bill came to just under $70.00. The unexpected act of kindness “brought a smile to my daughters faces, and made me feel so much better” Correa said.
On social media, where people began to hear about McAllister’s random and unexpected act of kindness, people expressed a range of different emotions; for Correa, as well as McAllister. Love, support and kind words for Correa and appreciation, acknowledgment and admiration for McAllister filled a comment thread on one Facebook site, where Correa first shared her experience.
“Police officers have such a bad rap these days. Maybe this will give others faith and hope in our men and women in blue,” Correa explained. “Deputy McAllister is my hero today.”
When she got home, Correa called McAllister’s department to acknowledge him and let his supervisors know how much his touching act meant to her and her family.
More than anything, Correa wanted to express her gratitude, saying, “Thank You Deputy McAllister.” Correa also thanked “the entire Rancho Cucamonga Police Department, and all of the men and women who put their lives on the line for us every single day.”
San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Administrative Lieutenant Frank Montanez – who had learned about McAllister’s act of kindness the previous day – praised his deputy, saying, “We are very proud of Matt and his actions yesterday. His terrific act of kindness reflects not only his own dedication to the citizens of San Bernardino County, but the Rancho Cucamonga Police Department and the entire San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department as well.”
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