Bloomington, IL,
06:46 AM

A Hug for Cruz

When we say State Farm is a family, we mean it.

A hug for Cruz

Michelle and her husband, Joe’s, dream was coming true; the Kaywoods were going to be parents. After several years going through the adoption process they were bringing their new son, Cruz, home.

“We’d been waiting for this for so long,” remembered Michelle. “The whole thing was like a dream.” And for a while, that’s exactly what it was. Michelle, Joe and Cruz were the picture of the perfect loving family. Then a year and a half later, Joe was diagnosed with lymphoma.

“It was devastating,” remembered Michelle. “Our whole world seemed to all of a sudden be coming apart.”

Joe started chemotherapy and Michelle found herself in uncharted territory; taking care of her son and helping her husband through his cancer treatments.

And that’s when Joe and Michelle’s State Farm family stepped up.

Being there

Without being prompted, people from both Joe and Michelle’s teams began showing up with gifts and donations, little things to help the family get through this difficult time.

“It was pretty overwhelming,” said Michelle. “They would bring food and gift cards to restaurants and just offer to help out any way they could.”

That outpouring of good will was definitely appreciated by the entire Kaywood family, but unfortunately, Joe’s condition worsened and he ended up losing his battle with cancer in 2018.

“A hug for Cruz”

A hug for Cruz

Realizing the family could use every bit of help and support, teammates banded together and sent not only their condolences, but gift cards, presents and other things to help the Kaywoods.

“We were all devastated when Joe passed away,” remembered Cheryl Kuba, an Information Security analyst who was a former teammate of both Joe and Michelle’s. “I worked with Michelle way back when and then I worked with Joe.”

“I can remember when Joe came in right after Cruz’s adoption was final,” remembered Cheryl. “I’ve never seen him happier than he was on that day.”

Shortly after Joe’s passing, Cheryl thought about that day in particular and thought of something special she could do for the Kaywoods, in particular for three-year old Cruz.

Joe was a life-long fan of the Detroit Red Wings and so Cheryl, a long-time quilter, asked Michelle if she could use some of Joe’s old Red Wings shirts and jerseys for a project she had in mind.

“I wanted to make something from his dad, something that he could wrap up in so he could get a hug from his dad.”

As you can imagine, this quilt meant the world to Michelle and Cruz.

“We can never thank these folks enough for all they did for us during this time,” said Michelle. “It means more than people can ever know.”

About State Farm®:

For over 100 years, the mission of State Farm has been to help people manage the risks of everyday life, recover from the unexpected and realize their dreams. State Farm and its affiliates are the largest providers of auto and home insurance in the United States. Its more than 19,400 agents and 67,000 employees serve over 91 million policies and accounts – including auto, fire, lifehealth, commercial policies and financial services accounts. Commercial auto insurance, along with coverage for rentersbusiness ownersboats and motorcycles, is also available. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 44 on the 2023 Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit

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