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San Tan Valley horse trainer Pays It Forward to neighbors helping her after spinal surgery

Kristin Kinney still wears a neck brace after recent spinal surgery, making it tough to keep up with all the things that have to get done on her San Tan Valley ranch.

“I can’t lift over 5 to 8 pounds,” said Kinney. “That’s what a gallon of milk would weigh. I’ve got all my animals, and I’m a horse trainer and ranch girl. I’m used to working.”

But the stress and struggle of taking care of herself — and her animals– was made a lot easier, thanks to Kinney’s neighbors, Debbie and Don Winters.

“They are probably the best neighbors and human beings I’ve ever met,” said Kinney.

Every day for the past three months, the two have been coming over to feed Kinney’s animals. They also bring Kinney meals and clean up around her house.

“She’s kind of a proud girl, so she doesn’t ask for help much,” Debbie Winters said. “I kind of just said, ‘I’m going to start feeding horses for you.'”

“What they put on your headstone isn’t what you’ve acquired, it’s who you’ve helped,” said Don Winters. “That’s how I live.”

Kinney is so grateful for everything the Winterses have done that she reached out to CBS 5 to Pay it Forward to her incredible neighbors and give them a $500 gift card. A CBS 5 news crew was there for the big surprise.

“For everything you’ve done for me, I’ve reached out to Channel 5 and their Pay It Forward program, because there is no way I can speak to you – tell you how much you mean to me,” Kinney said. “Debbie, if it wasn’t for you, my horses would be skinny, and my ducks have 50 million eggs.”

“I don’t know how to thank you, so I reached out to Channel 5, and on behalf of the Channel 5 Pay it Forward program, here’s a gift card for $500,” Kinney said.

“That’s what we’re put here for, is to help each other,” Debbie said.

“I do want them to know, I want everybody to know how great these people are,” said Kinney

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