EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. — A family out of Edwardsville, Illinois, went viral for their Christmas singing on TikTok, and they hope it can spread more than holiday cheer.
Music has always been a part of Ann Culp and her sister Emily Ottwein’s family.
After three years of not gathering due to the pandemic and other tragedies, the family gathered around a table at their family farm the Thursday before Christmas and sang.
“In fact our dad requested it," Culp said. "He's 92 so we were glad to have them there. He sings and my aunt is a music teacher. She still gives voice and piano lessons at 91.”
The moment runs deeper than their vocal skills that caught the attention of millions since Christmas.
Ottwein told 5 On Your Side about a cousin who owns the family home now whose husband was killed by an impaired driver in September 2018.
Exactly four weeks later, Culp’s son Brent was killed in a motorcycle crash.
Another cousin's husband, who also sings and can be seen in the video, had been on a kidney transplant waitlist for three years. Brent wanted him to have his kidney.
The family got a call that there was a match for Kevin’s kidney and it turned out to be Brent’s, which had matched every marker.
"That is something that has brought peace and joy in the whole story," Ottwein said.
This family's been through a lot but said this attention is only a reminder to not let the one thing that brings them together leave their hearts.
"We're grateful for that gift and we're also grateful for the gift of organ donation," Culp added.
The family wants this to be a moment to bring awareness to organ donation.
They have been in contact with the man who has Brent's liver and another who has his heart.
Ottwein and Culp added they have found comfort in knowing their voice and that donation is continuing to provide comfort.
For more information about organ donation, click here.