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'Huge blessing': Billings preschool teacher battling cancer is surprised with a new car

Preschool teacher battling cancer is surprised with new car
Posted at 9:57 AM, Dec 22, 2023

BILLINGS - Hardin Chevrolet gave one lucky teacher a Christmas gift on Thursday that she’ll never forget - a 2007 Chevy Tahoe.

Kylie Tiller is a preschool teacher at the Montana Audubon Center and found out she had stage 4 follicular lymphoma in November. She and her four kids have been out of their car since October and have been dependent on her boyfriend’s car.

“I was just recently diagnosed with follicular lymphoma stage 4, so we’ve just been doing chemo and immunotherapy treatments for that and I started the week of Thanksgiving. So I just had my second round of chemo this week," said Tiller.

Tiller had been nominated by her boyfriend's mother, who then spread the word out to friends and family. She was told that they were just going to the center for lunch, but when she arrived she was surprised with the car from the dealership's team.

"There was a lot of cars and people with phones and it took me several minutes to figure out what was happening," said Tiller.

Preschool teacher is surprised with new car
Kylie Tiller and the Hardin Chevrolet team

This is the fifteenth year Hardin Chevrolet has done their Hearts for the Holidays Car Giveaway where one person is chosen to receive a car from the dealership. Recipients are nominated by the community based on those who might not have reliable transportation.

"If we can help someone in need, that's really the goal," said Joe Mavencamp, who works for the dealership and has witnessed all of the giveaways in the previous years. He said that they were inspired by Tiller's story and resilience.

"(We) read some really great stories about her, sounds like a really amazing person, you know, that's definitely been dealt a tough hand, but she's fighting through it. It was one that really stood out to us and we were excited to meet her and seems like a neat family," said Mavencamp.

This gift will be much needed at a time when Tiller will have to attend many doctor's appointments in the coming months. It will also help assist her and her family with the events and activities they are involved in.

"Being able to get us to where we need to be, to school, to the doctor, to the hospital, wherever, is huge," said Tiller. "This is amazing. We don’t have to walk places anymore or ask people for rides, I don’t have to call my friends to be like, ‘Hey, my son’s here, can you please come get him for me?' It's huge, it’s really, really important to us."