For Greencastle resident Mary Tesmer, the possibility became a reality.
Tesmer survived two years without a working furnace in her home. She kept herself bundled up and used a few small heaters to keep warm during the winter season last year.
Things got worse for Tesmer in April, when she lost her job unexpectedly due to a medical condition. With no income, she couldn't afford to have the furnace replaced.
"The furnace man tried to patch it, but it quit working completely," said Tesmer.
One night in late June, Tesmer couldn't sleep. At 3 a.m., she turned on the radio beside her bed and heard a 15-second commercial announcing a giveaway. Indianapolis television station Channel 6 and One Hour Heating and Cooling, Indianapolis, were teaming up to give away three air conditioners and three furnaces to Hoosiers in need.
"At the time, they were giving away the air conditioners," Tesmer recalled.
She made a phone call to One Hour and spoke to Duane Dunn, who told her to contact Todd Kane with the TV station. She did. Kane told her to write down her information and submit it -- this was in early July. She did that, too.
It was late August when she phoned Kane and requested to have her name removed from the giveaway. Tesmer said she felt there were better candidates for an air conditioner.
"I just felt compelled (to have my name taken off the list) because I could live without an air conditioner," she said. "(Kane) asked me twice if I was sure and I said, 'Yes.'"
However, she agreed to keep her name on the list for a furnace. The furnaces were to be given away in October, so she remained hopeful. October arrived and the news came.
"I was driving down Veteran's Memorial Highway, when my phone rang," Tesmer said.
It was Kane informing her she had been chosen to receive a new furnace. It was a moment she will forever remember.
"I started screaming, 'It's a miracle,'" she said. "I had to pull my car over."
But before her miracle arrived, Tesmer had to face her fear. She had to accept the harsh reality of possibly losing her home and possessions to survive. She finally let it all go and placed her faith in God -- but she never gave up; she remained strong.
Tesmer received her new furnace Oct. 27 and now she has a warm home and a promising new career in nursing. After initially receiving her nursing license in 1987, she instead went on to open a business in Greencastle, which she ran for 15 years.
"On Monday, I received my nursing license," she said with a smile. "I thought it would be impossible to get back into nursing," she admitted.
Tesmer's story will be aired on Channel 6 during the "Extreme Makeover" show beginning at 8 p.m.
To all those suffering through hard times, Tesmer offers hope.
"Never give up hope," she said.
Miracles can still happen.