June Giggard clutched her father-in-law's hand tightly as she learned of a memorial fund established in memory of her husband.
"Bill helps me with everything," she said softly.
The State Police Troopers Association started the fund.
"We are donating $500 to initiate the memorial fund in memory of your husband," said Lt. Greg Shipley, public information officer for the Maryland State Police, at a news conference yesterday at the Westminster branch of Taneytown Bank & Trust Co.
"I hope this gets the word out. We know there are a lot of people in Carroll County who care and who want to help."
N. Lee Waltz Jr., vice president and Westminster branch manager, said his company was "gladly adding $100" to the fund.
"We are willing to do what we can to alleviate the tragedy for this family," Mr. Waltz said. "We would like to get others to contribute also. That is what it's about: people helping people."
Mr. Waltz said he hoped the fund will grow rapidly.
"Hopefully, there will be a lot of donations," he said. "This family certainly needs it."
Ms. Giggard's eyes filled as she whispered her thanks.
"I don't know what to say," she said. "This is kind, sweet, understanding and supportive."
David Giggard, 27, died Sept. 30 at Johns Hopkins Hospital, while awaiting a liver transplant, his last hope for survival. His illness devastated the family finances and left his 28-year-old wife and two young sons with few resources.
The family has been without telephone service and may lose its home. The Giggards'mortgage insurance would not pay off unless they had lived in the house for five years, Ms. Giggard said. Mr. Giggard died 45 days before that date.
"His death devastated a lot of people," Ms. Giggard said. "We thought we could get him well. At one time, his doctor told him he would see his great-grandchildren."
Ms. Giggard said the holidays will be especially difficult for her 8- and 6-year-old children.
"David loved dressing up with the boys at Halloween and taking them trick or treating," she said.
"That will be our hardest holiday," she said.
Several friends are helping Ms. Giggard to find a job.
"It's not what David wanted, but eventually I will take one," she said. "He wanted me home with the children. I will figure out which one is best for me."
Contributors can make donations to the David Giggard Memorial Fund, at Taneytown Bank & Trust, 402 Englar Road, Westminster 21157, or at any other bank branch. Information: 857-1000.