Amy Stoen remembers not just the day, but the exact hour her life changed. It was 4:30pm on February 20, 2008 -- a Wednesday, Amy recalls. Less than two months earlier, Amy and her husband, Randy, had noticed a cyst inside the nose of their 3-year-old daughter Madelaine. On Feb. 20, doctors delivered devastating news: Madelaine had alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare and aggressive form of cancer.
Treatment started immediately. Madelaine's parents drove her more than 100 miles each day to the hospital to try and save their little girl's life. In addition to the emotional toll, the Stoen family was also facing a financial crisis. With Amy's paycheck covering the insurance bills and Randy's paycheck covering the mortgage, the parents were desperate to find a way to be with Madelaine during her treatments without losing their home.
That's when Simon Cowell stepped in.
"I didn't know what to do in this situation other than to do something which I hope will help your situation," he told Amy and Randy back then. "I know that you're having problems with your mortgage. As of this afternoon, your mortgage has been paid off."
Cowell wrote a $162,000 personal check so that the Stoens wouldn't have to worry about losing their home anymore. That was six years ago, and today, Cowell's generosity still has a huge impact on the family, as they tell "Oprah: Where Are They Now?"
Amy, Randy and now-10-year-old Madelaine still live in the Minnesota home that Cowell paid off. "There is not a day that I don't wake up and thank Simon and Oprah and everybody that has come into our lives," Amy says.
"If I could talk to Simon today, I would tell him that I'm very thankful for him," says Madelaine.
"No words could say how happy we were," Randy adds.
Since then, the Stoen family has also grown from a family of three to a family of four. "We had a second daughter -- Ellie was born in 2010, and it's been it's been awesome seeing Madelaine become a big sister and to share a very special bond with Ellie," Amy says.
As for Madelaine's health, she was in remission for nearly five years. Then, in October 2013, doctors found two abnormal cells in her nose. "Her medical team isn't too concerned about it, because they're not on the same side as her cancer site," Amy explains. "It's something that we'll watch."
In the meantime, Madelaine enjoys being a typical 10 year old and expressing her creativity, in addition to doing things for others. "What I like to do for fun is make those rubber band bracelets. I've made over 200 of them and now I want to sell them and donate the money for people that are sick," she says.
Both Amy and Randy are continuously inspired by their daughter and remain focused on what's truly important in life: family.
"It just makes you want to take one day at a time, and do more things with your family," Randy says. "Try not to be so busy with other stuff, because you never know what tomorrow will bring."