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Valley family finds hope in unexpected encounter

Posted at 5:55 PM, Feb 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-20 17:55:13-05

A Valley family found out firsthand you can find hope in the most unexpected of places.

Bruce and Kate Kilbourn were faced with a difficult situation, finding a water leak in the front yard of their north Phoenix home.

"It's been a rough year, as it has for most of us," Kate Kilbourn said. "We've been hit a little bit harder so to hear there was a pipe leaking was a big stressor."

Kilbourn told ABC15 they've been strapped for cash during the pandemic and have an eight-year-old son, Benjamin, battling leukemia. The unexpected cost of fixing a water leak was another issue to worry about.

"I was very much upset," Kate Kilbourn said. "Looking over our finances and just knowing with the hospital bills, what we owe."

Bruce Kilbourn told ABC15 to fully replace the line and completely fix the issue, he was quoted thousands of dollars for the work.

"Want to say it was right around three-to-four thousand dollars," he said. "I instantly broke down into tears and said, I can't afford that, I don't have the cash."

The plumber, finding out about the family's situation, called the owner of Custom Plumbing of Arizona, Vincent Hils. After agreeing to reduce the cost, the company decided to scrap the bill altogether.

"[The plumber] felt bad about it because of circumstances, asked me if we could discount it and we did," Hils said. "When it came down to it, when we came out to do the work, the plumber calls me back and he says, 'Can we do this for free? We'll work for free.' I said if you're working for free, I'm working for free."

Bruce and Kate Kilbourn were overjoyed by the gesture.

"We were crying, I was crying," Kate Kilbourn said. "Just given the state of the world."

This week, Hils got to personally meet Bruce and Kate, who shared with him a picture of their son.

"I got to see the picture of their son and the whole thing come full circle, yeah I got a little emotional," Hils said. "It all starts with the plumber."

Bruce and Kate appreciated the unexpected decision to comp the job.

"It restored our faith in God," Kate Kilbourn said. "It restored our faith in humanity, it gave us hope."

Her husband echoed the sentiment.

"Just the most heartwarming thing I've ever experienced in my entire life," Bruce Kilbourn said. "No one has ever done anything like this for us."