Help Me Hayley December 14 2018

SPOKANE, Wash. -- Sometimes the biggest setbacks in life can lead to the biggest blessings in the end. That's exactly what happened to one local theft victim who felt pushed to his breaking point.

We introduced you to Chance Briet on Sunday

It particularly touched one woman named Melissa Quaintance. She could relate to Chance's pain all too well.

"My brother Steve, he was an amazing man," Melissa said. "He was a hard worker, he was everything."

But the mental illness that gripped Melissa's best friend and constant protector was relentless. Steve Ausman lost the battle in May of 2012 when he took his own life.

"It killed me, a part of me went with my brother," she said. "I think of him every day."

She says Steve was the kind of guy who made this world a better place, even when his own was falling apart.

"He was an amazing man with a huge heart," she said. "I just want to carry that on."

On Sunday, Melissa was surfing Facebook when she the story about Chance. She could see the deep, consuming and all too familiar pain on the face of someone else.

"Normally, I'd keep scrolling but I read it and thought, I have to do something," she said.

Chance also lost a brother to suicide, and the way he coped, nearly cost him his own life.

"My addiction took over severely," he said. "I didn't want to feel my brother's passing."

KHQ introduced you to Chance after he so bravely go the help he needed. He's been sober for 29 months now, just welcomed a new baby to his family, and at 38-years-old is making his dream of earning a college degree come true.

"It's awesome, I love it," he said.

But one he almost gave up on.

"On Tuesday after class, I went to Safeway to get apples," he said. "I was only in there for 10 minutes and everything worked for this whole quarter was gone."

Chance takes full responsibility for making the mistake of leaving valuables in his car. He's sick over it. The mere minutes he was gone was all it took for a car prowler. He stole his backpack filled with books, supplies and his laptop. SPD investigating and while they recovered a photo of the suspect, Chance knew an arrest was unlikely with the recovery of his things even more so.

"It devastates me," he said. "It really does. My first thought was to quit."

But not this time. He's come too far. And, besides, our community wouldn't let him.

Melissa purchased a replacement laptop, other viewers dropped off enough cash to get them through some tough quarters ahead (and even provide a few Christmas presents!) Safeway also jumped in to help, providing a basket full of the essentials for the growing family.

"I have hope in humanity," he said.

Chance is set to graduate with an associate's degree in applied science in 2020. Melissa says she wouldn't miss the graduation for the world.

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