A U.S. Navy vet facing terminal Stage 4 cancer has been hosting yard sales at his home in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, to raise money for his funeral when he passes.
66-year-old Willie Davis said, “I never imagined I’d be doing something like this. But I felt desperate. A lot of this stuff is special to me … but I don’t want to want to be a financial burden on the people I’ll leave behind. I’d rather do something about it,” Fox News reported.
In August, David Dunkleberger and one of his friends, Ed Sheets, visited a yard sale at Davis’ home, unknowing that Davis was in need. While at the sale, Davis mentioned to the men that he was having the sale to raise money for a funeral.
The costs of the funeral aren’t a worry any more thanks to the kindness of strangers. https://t.co/MKRpTTbdC6
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) September 28, 2018
When Dunkleberger asked who the funeral was for, Davis replied, “Mine.”
Unable to get that conversation out of his mind, Dunkleberger decided to organize a GoFundMe for Davis.
“It broke your heart, hearing the story, and we just decided we had to do something to try and help him, try to make his life a little bit easier,” Sheets said.
Davis had been diagnosed with Stage 4 squamous cell carcinoma and wants nothing more than to be buried beside his parents in Culpepper, Virginia when he dies, according to the GoFundMe page.
The initial GoFundMe goal was $5,000, but as of Friday, the campaign had raised more than $52,000 after the media shared the story.
The last person to donate to Davis’ campaign said, “I saw that $20 was needed to reach the goal and was honored to be the person to reach the finish line and ensure this Navy Veteran can know that his final expenses will be covered. Thank you for your sacrifices in defending the freedoms we still enjoy, sir. God bless you.”
“He’s done a lot serving our country, so we wanted to kind of return the favor to him so that, again, his last days could be a little less hectic, a little more peaceful for him,” Sheets said.
Davis served in the Navy during the Vietnam War, from 1970-1976.
Davis said about Sheets and Dunkleberger, “I’m gonna miss life because there are people like that,” USA Today reported.
Once Davis passes, “a check will be distributed to the funeral home for 100% of the donations towards his funeral costs. If we have money left over, the remainder will go towards helping another veteran in need,” according to the GoFundMe page.