Teacher Surprises Arlington Mother with Car

Mom: "This car will change our lives"

By Mola Lenghi
|  Wednesday, Dec 19, 2012  |  Updated 7:50 PM CDT
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The Arlington Independent School District surprised Tracy Jackson with a car, the single mother lacked reliable transportation for a year. Her daughter Hannah Berg has been battling cancer.

Mola Lenghi, NBC 5 Arlington Reporter

The Arlington Independent School District surprised Tracy Jackson with a car, the single mother lacked reliable transportation for a year. Her daughter Hannah Berg has been battling cancer.

An Arlington family was surprised with an early Christmas gift on Wednesday, a new car. A car they say will change their lives.

Tracy Jackson is the single mother of 14-year-old Hannah Berg. In March, their lives were turned upside down when Hannah was diagnosed with cancer.

"We've been through so much this year," said Jackson.

To make matters worse, Jackson hasn't been able to find work because she doesn't have a car.

Unable to afford repairs to their previous car they've simply had to do without reliable transportation. Unable to land a job Jackson hasn’t been able to afford a car. And so the cycle continues.

But on Wednesday, Christmas came early. Tracy Jackson and her daughter were given 2002 Ford Taurus.

"I can't believe this. This is amazing," said a tearful Jackson. "This car is going to change everything. Now I can actually get a job and go to work… I'll never have to worry about getting [Hannah] her treatment again."

The car was made possible by Arlington school teacher Lea Mattson.

Mattson is a homebound teacher, traveling to student’s homes who are unable to go to school. That has been the case for Hannah Berg since being diagnosed with cancer.

"It just broke my heart that the only opportunity they had to leave their apartment was to go to the hospital or to go to doctor visits and they had to bum rides for those," said Mattson.

While trying to connect the family with some helpful resources, she found friends willing to donate enough money to buy the car for the family.

The family had been relying on friends and taxi cabs for transportation.

"Sometimes it's hard to find a ride but when we need it, but now we don't need it," said Hannah with a smile.

"[Hannah is] an incredible young lady that just had a really bad year. She always has a smile when I walk in the door. She's always very kind and thankful for everything she does have and has never once complained about having to overcome leukemia or the chemo," said Mattson.

With her cancer in remission and plans to get back to school this spring, Hannah said this Christmas will be a special one.

"I beat cancer this year so it's like, I'm alive for this Christmas, so that makes me happy. And now we get a car for a Christmas present and that’s even better. And I get to see my family this year and spend time with them. It's going to be a good Christmas," said Hannah. "A really good Christmas."

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