Astrid sent a message to Tony Hsieh CEO, Zappos.com, Inc. that said:
Dear Mr. Hsieh,
I just recently had an incredible and unexpected experience at zappos.com. My name is Astrid Nicastri, I am a cancer survivor. I had my first cancer, a severe brain cancer with a two to three percent chance of survival, when I was twelve years old. I had to relearn everything. I could remember how to do things, but my body wouldn't do them. I even had to relearn gravity, and that i was not just falling into a bottomless pit. I still have disabilities to this day. In 2006, I had another brain tumor, and was diagnosed with severe breast cancer in 2007.
Let me truly thank you, and tell you about my wonderful experience with Zappos. It all started when I was invited to a farm and told to wear shoes that could get muddy. I pulled out a very old pair of sneakers that i had kept. I had last worn them the day I went to the shoe store to get new sneakers. At the shoe store I was introduced to Vibram five finger shoes, to better help my balance instead of another pair of sneakers. I can remember just how ecstatic I was to finally find a pair of shoes I could actually walk in. The sense of freedom I felt in the Vibram shoes was miraculous. Every step I took was an incredible sensation. I could walk and even have balance in these shoes.
I have always meant to reach the people at Vibram and let them know how amazing their five finger shoes are, and just how important they have become in my life. Anyways, so I put on the old sneakers and wore them to the farm. My balance was horrible in them! I could not comprehend how I was ever able to wear regular sneakers. I must have just made them work because they were the best choice I had at the time. I could not understand how anyone could ever walk in regular sneakers. In the sneakers, I felt like I was walking on top of sponges. I could not feel the ground or grip it in any way, and my sense of balance was off.
This experience going back to regular sneakers and how they felt, was so profound that i knew I had to do something finally, and right away about it. When I got home, I immediately got on the computer in search of finding a way of contacting Vibram. I needed to tell them just how their shoes made a whole world of difference for me. I searched for a while on the computer. It was late, and i was getting tired. I ended up on your site, zappos.com. I was just about to quit for the night, when on the screen in front of me was a customer service number. I thought why not try it, the people at customer service might be able to help me out somehow.
A very nice lady named Gina answered the phone. I wish I had thought at the time to ask her last name. Gina asked how she could help me. I told her that I was searching to contact Vibram, and my recent story about my experience with regular sneakers versus Vibram Five finger shoes. Gina was quite taken with my story, and out of the blue offered me a pair of Vibram five finger shoes for free. I could not believe what was happening. In no way did I expect this outcome. Again, I couldnt believe it when Gina told me to pick a pair and that Zappos would send it to me. This show of kindness made me so happy, and grateful beyond words. I was made to remember that their are some really special and caring people out there!
I am a preschool teacher. I have told this story to My directors and all the people I work with. I have also told this story to my family and friends. They were astounded. Their are a lot of people in my life besides me, that want to become Zappo shoppers and think really highly now of Zappos in general.
Thank you so much again for the incredible kindness your company has shown me. It means so much !