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Jimmy Cox

It was too heavy for Santa’s sleigh and too big to fit under the Christmas tree, but a state-of-art walk-in tub made the holiday season much brighter for Branford resident Jimmy Cox.

Cox, 49, who suffers from Klinefelter syndrome, received the surprise gift as part of a national program of giving from Nashville-based Safe-Step Walk-In Tub Co. The program, aptly named Safe Step Cares, has donated 50 tubs in the past 5 years to those in need.

Through the Safe Step Cares website, Cox received more than 30 nominations from his friends and family in the area. It was enough to make Safe Step’s monthly list of candidates. Safe Step receives dozens of nominations monthly, chooses the most deserving, and then invites its team members to vote on the winner. Cox won November’s popular vote.

“This is the gift of a lifetime and one that will change Jimmy’s life forever,” said Jimmy’s mom Helen Nonnemacher. “Safe Step not only donated the tub, but they also sent a team of professionals to install it and a video team to capture all of the excitement. They were so kind and Jimmy warmed up to them immediately.” Cox was diagnosed with Klinefelter syndrome as an infant. It is a chromosomal condition that affects male physical and cognitive development. Cox has also battled cancer and a number of other ailments and recently broke his leg.

Of the many nominations, one said, “Jimmy has never let his condition define him. He is upbeat and warm-hearted and possesses an innocence that we all would like to have. He has just not had any luck health-wise but continues to smile and touch people. Jimmy just needs a shot in the arm or kindness.

And now he has one. Says Safe Step Cares coordinator Derek Farley: “Jimmy is what the Safe Step Cares program is all about. This company changes lives every day with its product and our president Mike Duffer vowed to give back to those less fortunate from day one. We were impressed with the nominations. Our team of safety specialists felt he deserved an early Christmas present and we know our product will bring comfort and joy to Jimmy.”

Cox volunteers at a local food kitchen and is nicknamed The Meat Sheriff due to the seriousness in which he takes his duties of delegating the ham distribution for sandwiches. He was all smiles upon receiving the tub and expressed immense gratitude.

“Thank you so much,” said Cox. “I am not sharing this with my mom and dad.” With his mom in a warm embrace and surrounded by loved ones, he reconsidered and said, “Well, maybe with my mom.”