The pain and suffering a parent feels after losing their child knows no end. So when Jacqui Saldana lost her three-year-old son, she fell to pieces. Her little boy, Ryan, was playing in his yard with a Frisbee when an out-of-control truck veered over and smashed into him, killing the toddler on impact. Jacqui and her husband Dan’s life will never be the same, and the loss of Ryan has left a big hole in their lives that simply cannot be filled again.
However, Ellen DeGeneres has built a career around lifting people up. Even when she was working the clubs and colleges as a stand-up comedian, she loved to make people smile and make the world a better place. Ever since she has been hosting her popular talk show, Ellen DeGeneres has proven that her generosity knows no limit. She has given so much away on her show as a way to show appreciation to people, gain lifelong fans, and help those who need some help.
When Ryan was hit by the truck, the loss was even more powerful for Jacqui because she had been a popular mom blogger, documenting her son’s childhood on Baby Boy Bakery. Throughout her time on the blog, Jacqui had shared many happy memories with her readers like when Ryan when trick-or-treating for Halloween. But when Ryan died, Baby Boy Bakery turned into another kind of blog. Jacqui opened up about her horrible struggles as her family tried to make sense of the senseless tragedy.
Although Jacqui had touched a lot of people with her blog – including parents who have also lost a child – it was a chance encounter with Ellen DeGeneres that helped lift her blog to a new echelon of popularity and exposure.
Ever since losing Ryan, Jacqui and her husband made it a point to watch Ellen every day. It helped lift their spirits, even if just a little bit. Because she was such a superfan, Jacqui noticed one of Ellen’s head writers, Kevin, (pictured) at Crate & Barrel, a few months after Ryan passed. Jacqui told him that his work meant a lot to her family and she opened up about Ryan’s passing. Jacqui could have had no way of knowing that Kevin would relay her story to the chief herself.
When the holiday season came around, Jacqui and her husband received an invitation to come to the taping of Ellen’s show. They were delighted. They laughed the whole time – until Ellen made a special announcement.
“There is someone in our audience who we invited to our show, because she’s going through a very tough time, and I want to meet her.”
By the time Jacqui got on stage, she had to fight back her tears.
“I’m trying to keep this together because you’re amazing. You inspire me,” Ellen said.
Ellen then spoke from the heart, empathizing with Jacqui’s loss.
But she didn’t just bring this grieving mother on her program to talk, she had a surprise.
She showered them with gifts and invited Jacqui back for the remaining days of the Twelve Days of Giveaways event.
What do you think about Ellen’s generosity?