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Surprise furnace from Action eases Clearfield family's pain

Published November 21, 2012 8:16 pm

Goodwill • Heater quits in wake of son's cancer diagnosis as company steps in.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A Clearfield family experienced a world turned upside down a few weeks ago when its 6-year-old son was diagnosed with bone cancer.

Then the heater stopped working in Kenny and Crystal Thomas' mobile home, forcing the family to use a small space heater for warmth.

The folks at Action Plumbing & Heating heard of their situation through a family friend and decided to install for free a new furnace valued at $3,500. While at the home earlier this week, the company's workers also fixed a valve and made other plumbing repairs valued at $1,200, all at no cost to the family.

The visit came as a surprise to the Thomases, son Ryan and the couple's young daughter.

"Our hearts broke when we heard about the unbelievably hard time the Thomas family was going through. This is the least we can do and hope that Thanksgiving and Christmas are a little better for them," said Action spokesman Nate Di Palma.

Ryan Thomas has been diagnosed with Ewings Sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. The boy started his first round of chemotherapy on Nov. 13, in treatments that will continue for the next 12 weeks.

"Everything came at once — it was all very discouraging," said Crystal Thomas. "We had been going without heat since the beginning of October. We're very grateful that people in the community helped someone in need."

The family has set up a fund at American First Credit Union under the name Ryan J. Thomas to help with medical costs.

Action Plumbing & Heating is based in Salt Lake City and employs 90 people. The company provides plumbing, heating, air conditioning and electrical services to 75,000 customers in Utah.