HENRIETTA (KFDX/KJTL) — Let the countdown begin, as we are just under a week from Christmas. But for one person, Christmas came six days early.

The final Christmas Came Early recipient will tug on your heartstrings like she did ours. Gay Lynn Alexander is a single mom who was hit with multiple tragedies this year.

“Whenever Ms. Vicars said she was coming to visit me, I said, ‘Yay! A new person! I get to see someone today’,” Henrietta resident Gay Lynn Alexander said.

Alexander has always been someone her friends can lean on.

“When you’re down, you just call her,” Alexander’s friend Susan Vicars said. “That’s what you do. She’s got a smile, and she’s always got something positive to say.”

This year has been a tough one for Gay Lynn. First, she lost her mom.

“She had a long battle, and she subbed at the junior high where I worked so I got to see her all of the time, and she was just a precious lady,” Vicars said.

That’s not the only thing that has happened to her, though, as just days after her mother’s funeral, Gay Lynn received more bad news.

“I climbed over a countertop, and I was like, ‘Oh that’s not supposed to feel like that’,” Gay Lynn said. “So, I went to the doctor, and I usually have this normal fibroid and stuff that women can have that’s not anything wrong, and she was like, ‘That’s a little different.’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, I know; that’s why I’m here’.”

She was ultimately diagnosed with breast cancer, but through all of this, she has battled to make sure she is there in the stands for all of her son’s events.

“I feel like he’s going through it just as me, and he may be struggling,” Gay Lynn said. “Just knowing that if he can look into the stands and I’m right there that everything will be okay.”

Gay Lynn is not the type to ask for any help and ultimately tries to hide her pain and sickness from everyone. But those close to her know what she is going through, and even still she retains the positive outlook they know and love.

That is why we decided to surprise her at her home as our next Christmas Came Early recipient.

“Hi, Gay Lynn,” Steve Fairchild from Hamilton Bryan said.
“How are you?” Gay Lynn said.
“Nice shirt; I like that,” Fairchild said. “I’m Steve Fairchild with Hamilton Bryan.”
“Well, hi,” Gay Lynn said.
“On behalf of Hamilton Bryan and Channel 3 we want to give you a small Christmas Came Early,” Fairchild said.
“Thank you,” Gay Lynn said.
“I’ve heard you’re an inspiration,” Fairchild said.
“Oh, thank you so much,” Gay Lynn said.
“I hope you have a happy holiday,” Fairchild said.
“Well thank you so much,” Gay Lynn said.

After having a long hug with Susan and wiping away the tears, Gay Lynn admits she was surprised when we arrived, and she is thankful that her friends would think of her during this time.

“Knowing that even though it’s just us two that we still have a whole army behind us,” Gay Lynn said.

Even though this past year has been a difficult one, she continues to put that smile on her face and bring some sunshine to those she meets and brighten an otherwise dark situation.

“Someone’s always got it worse than I do,” Gay Lynn said. “There’s not a lot to sit around and mope, we’ve got to get through this and get going.”

If you missed any of the other Christmas Came Early stories and would like to watch them, click here.