ALLENTOWN, N.J. (CBS 2) – As former Marine Staff Sgt. John Fourniquet’s Stage Four melanoma spread into his brain, his Christmas began to look bleaker than ever.

His cancer and his chemotherapy kept him from truly enjoying the holidays and with bills piling up, he had no choice but to raffle off his prized possession—a classic 1966 Mustang he restored 25 years ago.

While he rose close to $40,000 at the drawing on Thursday to help pay for his treatment, it was a family member who ultimately won.

“I’ve never met them before, but they’re still family,” said Caitlin Hensley, a cousin by marriage who bought a raffle ticket to help him out. “But I won. I was so shocked. I had no idea.”

But it wasn’t just Hensley’s luck; it was Fourniquet’s as well. Without a though, she gave the car right back to him. She said it was the best Christmas gift she had ever given.

“I knew when I bought the ticket that I would never keep it. How can you take something so sentimental away from someone who’s going through? Everything that they’ve gone through and everything that they’re going through,” Hensley said.

For John Fourniquet and his wife Candy in Knoxville, Tenn., this is a Christmas like no other.

“The sweetest thing ever.  What a really nice girl,” Candy said.

“There are people out there who are just genuinely good people,” John said.

And now they’re planning a family reunion of sorts, in which they’ll meet for the very first time.

The family initially had problems getting the veteran’s administration to pay for Fourniquet’s cancer treatment, but their senator got involved and now they’re hoping to be reimbursed for some of their medical expenses.

Watch & Listen LIVE