Bob Karlstrand is a Vietnam veteran that has dedicated his life to helping and serving others. The brave veteran was diagnosed with late-stage colon cancer in 2013, and in 2015 he decided to donate his home to Habitat for Humanity so that it could be sold to a military family at a major discount. The tough-as-nails veteran was told by doctors that he only had months to live in 2015, but beat the odds and has lived long enough to meet the beneficiaries of his selfless donation.
U.S. Army veteran Bonita Reyna-Berg and her 14-year-old grandson, Isiah, moved into Karlstrand’s home after it was renovated for free by Habitat for Humanity. Karlstrand was forced to leave the home last year so that he could be cared for at an assisted living home.
Karlstrand smiled for the first time in weeks when the family went to visit him at the hospice center he was recently moved to. He was finally able to see the benefit of a pledge he made nearly two years ago.
“I’ve got a terminal illness, and I don’t have a family,” Karlstrand said in 2015. “I’ve received world-class medical treatment at the Department of Veterans Affairs Hospital in Minneapolis. I thought the least I could do was to sell my house and give the money away and then I heard about the Habitat program to rehab the house and sell it to a veteran.”
Reyna-Berg and her grandson are expected to pay only $1,025 in principal and interest with no down payment each month for a remodeled house that was appraised at $225,000. Habitat for humanity discounts the mortgage to the point where payments are no more than 30 percent of the owner’s income, making it possible for a single-parent family like Reyna-Berg’s to own a home of their own.