Local radio host Jodi McShane reads Mark Hurlbert a letter written by his wife about why he is her “Angel in Disguise.” (Garrett Estrada photo)

Local radio host Jodi McShane reads Mark Hurlbert a letter written by his wife about why he is her “Angel in Disguise.” (Garrett Estrada photo)

When Jodi McShane and Karen Livingston began reading through the stack of submitted letters they received for their “Angel in Disguise” program, they figured it would be a hard choice figuring out who would be the first winner. Then they got to Kristianne Hurlbert’s letter.

Hurlbert wrote page after page of her hardship with a debilitating disease in her hips more commonly refferred to as “bone death” and how her husband Mark was the reason she had perservered through it for the past eight years..

The lengthy letter moved the two radio hosts to tears.

“It was an easy choice when we read her letter, it was just so moving,” Livingston said.

The two started the “Angel in Disguise” program as a way to highlight and reward people in the community who have touched someone’s life.

Mark Hurlbert was the first winner, receiving a $500 gift card to Sportsworld, paid for by sponsors of the program. According to Mark’s wife , he deserved every penny of it.

“I wouldn’t have made it through this without him,” Kristianne Hurlbert said.

In her letter, she described her husband as someone who never gave up on her, physically, emotionally and financially. She described her intense fear of losing him and becoming a burden, but he never left. Instead, he drove her to the hospital even during a vacation that was supposed to serve as a getaway from doctors and pain.

Mark Hurlbert, who has been a senior drilling instructor at the Robinson Nevada Mining Company for the past ten years, was surprised at his work when the two radio hosts brought in his wife. McShane read his  wife’s letter to him aloud in front of several co-workers. When she finished, he was greeted with a round of applause.

“It feels nice to be recognized,” the typically not very talkative Hurlbert said after receiving his award. Shortly after he joked about how his wife was in trouble for embarrassing him at work.

According to Livingston and McShane, the “Angel in Disguise” program will continue to award one person from the community a month based on the nominations they receive at their radio station, KDSS.

“We’ll keep doing this for as long as we get submissions. It is just supposed to add to the nice things happening in our community,” Livingston said.

Letters can be submitted to KDSS during their normal business hours and should describe someone that  has touched someone’s life in a meaningful way. The “angel” can be a family member, friend, acquaintance, whoever, so long as they did someting to help someone else. McShane pointed out that people who submit the letters are also encouraged to put in the person’s wants and needs, so they can specifically tailor each reward to their “angel’s” interests.

Hurlbert’s Sportsworld gift-card was the result of him needing new work clothing and camping equipment after he spent all his extra money paying for his wife’s medical expenses.

The first ever “Angel in Disguise” reward was sponsored by donations from KDSS, Sportsworld, Big 8 Tires, Plush Gift Shop, Bruce Setterstrom, Cruise in Car Wash & Lube, Mike Wheable, Sahara Motors and Greater Nevada Credit Union.