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Sandeen Family Gets Unexpected Gift At Benefit

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MANKATO , MINN. -

 Chris Sandeen could talk for hours about his oldest daughter, Alyssa. Chris Sandeen says, "Such a sweet girl and she just loves life."

When she was just 8 Alyssa endured her first heart transplant. Now 14 years later, she needs another heart. Chris Sandeen says, "Watching your child be tortured and there is nothing you can do about it."

Here at the Kato Ballroom he hosts a benefit in her honor while she stays at Mayo Clinic in Rochester. Sandeen says, "I've been driving back and forth. I don't know how many miles I've put on since November."

The Sandeen family has high hopes of raising $30,000 today to help pay for medical expenses, but they weren't expecting this gift. A vehicle...big enough for the whole family to ride together when they visit Alyssa.

Sister Rachel Sandeen says, "I think my mom and me and Alyssa both got a little teary eyed. It's wonderful."

Rachel Sandeen says she's incredibly grateful for the gift. As for what makes her smile the most...her sister Alyssa...and a quick chat via skype at today's benefit. Rachel Sandeen says, "I haven't seen her for like a week. So seeing her smiling and happy and she looks good."

Knowing an entire community is behind her. And on the road ahead...knowing her family will have good transportation to be there for her as she keeps fighting for her life.