Oahu woman’s personal tragedy sparks act of kindness


It was a sweet gesture from a stranger.

Yvonne Pascua ordered cupcakes from Sam’s Club in Pearl City, for a co-worker’s baby shower.  She planned on picking it up Monday. 

To her astonishment, someone already paid for it.  There was a handwritten message was on the receipt.

“The receipt read: Today is my daughter’s birthday. She passed away three years ago. We chose to buy your daughter’s cupcakes this year,” said Pascua.

Moved, Pascua told her coworkers what happened. 

“Everybody had goose bumps. They were shocked. Some were in tears. Mostly shocked,” she said.

But the person behind the act of kindness chose not to sign her name, something Pascua wished she had done. She hopes to meet her in person to thank her.

“Happy birthday to your daughter, who’s in heaven watching your whole family. Thank you. I’m sure she loves you so much. With you just sharing on her birthday, it means a lot to a lot of people,” said Pascua. 

There was a name on the receipt: Amber DiSessa. 

We searched social media and reached out to an Amber DiSessa on Facebook.  Turns out, she was the one behind the gesture. 

The Kailua resident said she was in Sam’s Club to buy her daughter, Emma, a cake for her birthday, which was November 12. 

Emma died four years ago at four months old. 

“I still buy her a birthday cake every year. For me. I said, ‘I want to pay for those cupcakes right there.’ I saw them on the shelves for pick-up. So, they gave me the tag and I got to pay for them,” said Amber DiSessa. 

Emma passed away from a rare condition called Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome. 

“It literally affects everything. Kidneys, heart, lungs. Developmental delays, mental retardation,” explained DiSessa. 

The mother says she will continue to pay it forward every year, in honor of her daughter. 

“I didn’t realize the receipt had my name on it! I wanted to do it anonymously to keep her memory alive. I just want to keep doing that … for her.”

Pascua said she plans on reaching out to DiSessa to thank her in person. 

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