Rochester Salvation Army Provides Families with Thanksgiving Meals

Posted at: 11/22/2012 7:50 PM
Updated at: 11/22/2012 7:52 PM
By: Brittany Lewis

(ABC 6 News) -- For 115 years, The Salvation Army in Rochester has hosted a Thanksgiving meal; offering those who need a little help a chance to enjoy the food we all love on this holiday.

A warm greeting and a warm meal, The Salvation Army brought in 40 turkeys, feeding close to 350 people.

“It's nice just to feel welcome somewhere and just be able to sit down and have a nice meal with your family," said Alyssa Weston.

A Thanksgiving meal that for Caitlin Weston and her family, might not have been.

"I'm really thankful for just being here. I had so many problems,” said Caitlin Weston.

Caitlin was diagnosed in March with Severe A Plastic Anemia, meaning her bone marrow stopped making enough red and white blood cells and platelets. She spent three months in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Mayo Clinic.

"We didn't know if she was going to live or not and we're just really thankful that she's here with us,” said Alyssa Weston.

After a bone marrow transplant, her blood count is now normal, her hair slowly growing back after the chemo and radiation.

"There's so many times in the hospital that I could've just been gone,” said Caitlin Weston.

But on this day, a day to reflect on what we’re thankful for, is a chance for her to thank those sitting at the table right beside her, those who were by her side through it all- her mom and sister.

"Thank you for always being there for me. Thank you for not giving up on me, holding my hand through the whole thing, soothing me when I'm down and just cheering me up all the time. And just never leaving my side,” she said.

This Thanksgiving meal giving them a chance to celebrate together.

Caitlin has returned to school and is hoping to become a veterinarian someday.