The garbagemen, Brandon Olsen and Taylor Fritz, from Hometown Sanitation were regularly greeted by 3-year-old Rose and her sisters from their windows.
Sanitation workers do not get enough acknowledgment they usually deserve for their meaningful acts. These underappreciated people contribute a lot to keep the community clean but at the end of the day, it becomes a thankless job for them. However, two garbage collectors in Blue Earth, Minnesota were fortunate enough to encounter three little girls on a daily basis as they arrived in the neighborhood with their garbage truck. According to ABC News, Brandon Olsen and Taylor Fritz from Hometown Sanitation were regularly greeted by 3-year-old Rose and her sisters from their windows.
Rose would even fish out a pair of binoculars to get a better look at their favorite garbagemen and wave at them cheerfully. It was back in 2016 when the sweet interactions between Olsen, Fritz, Rose and her sisters Grace and Sophia became sort of a daily tradition. But one day, when the girls were not at the window as usual to greet the garbage collectors, they instead received a note which explained that Rose won't be able to wave at them like usual for a while since she has been diagnosed with stage 4 kidney cancer and was undergoing chemotherapy.
The news was heartbreaking but the sanitation workers knew how they could bring some joy to the adorable little girls and the Evenson family. During Christmas of 2016, Olsen and Fritz brought gifts for the sisters and even gave their parents free garbage service for a year. Olsen, then 29 years old, and 24-year-old Fritz told the outlet that the "smiling faces of the girls were what they looked forward to while working each day." They even made sure to bring the girls Halloween candies to show their appreciation.
"When they did that, it was a few weeks out from the diagnosis when every day just felt so impossible. Nothing, in reality, changes Rose's diagnosis, but it's those little acts of kindness. What they did made us feel like we are truly not alone in this fight," Rose's mother Angie admitted. As a father of three, Olsen revealed that the Evenson family's situation "opened his eyes and changed his outlook on things." "I got to the chemo part and there were tears running down my face," Fritz recalled. "I don't have any children of my own, but I can imagine if someone very close to me was diagnosed, I'd be heartbroken."
On the Evenson family's Facebook group titled Pray For Rosie, Rose's mom and dad continued to provide updates about Rose's cancer journey as she was getting treated at Sanford Children's Hospital in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. As of July 2023, Rose has been cancer free for almost six years. The brave little girl has grown up to do something extra special for children like her who have lost their hair post-chemotherapy sessions. According to a report published by CBS Evening News in December 2022, Rose has donated her hair to a nonprofit organization that provides wigs to kids in need.
"I have more than enough hair so I can give it to somebody who doesn't have hair," Rose said, per the outlet. "I had cancer when I was 3. I didn't have hair then either. Now my hair is very long and I want to cut it and share it with you." She included a letter that will accompany her hair donation. Rose has spent the last few years growing her hair which reached below her waist. "After she had lost her hair to chemo and radiation, when it started growing back, for years she said I'm never gonna cut my hair. I think she was just glad to have hair again," Angie stated. But donating her hair became a full-circle moment for the little girl who once went through a gruesome battle with a life-threatening disease.