Finding the good in the world
Nobody should have to be sick alone, but nobody especially deserves to be sick and still have to take care of a suffering loved one.
Unfortunately for many elderly couples around the United States, this is exactly the case, and it was the same story for Gilbert Hoppe of Minnesota and his wife Linda. Desperate to find the extra funds to help manage their day-to-day lives with chronic illnesses, Hoppe was willing to make a huge personal sacrifice: He was going to sell his own hearing aids.
But an unexpected twist led to a very happy ending. This is a true testament to the kindness of strangers!
What would you do if you were desperate to help your sick partner?
For army veteran Gilbert Hoppe of Mankato, Minnesota, the answer was easy: He would sacrifice whatever he had to for the sake of his wife Linda. Even though Gilbert, 75, is fighting cancer, he is more concerned about Linda’s chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
The couple needed a wheelchair-accessible van in order to get not only from doctor to doctor, but to get to Gilbert’s monthly Veterans Affairs appointments as well. Since such a van was too expensive for the couple to afford, Hoppe was willing to do anything to get the funds. So he decided he would sell his own hearing aids to make the money.
Hoppe turned to a local Facebook group dedicated to such transactions, where he posted a picture of his hearing aids with the note “Pair of hearing aids for sale or trade for a good vehicle.”
You might think that people in the area would see the 75-year-old’s post and recognize a man in need. They might never know that he was battling kidney cancer that spread to his bones and chest, or that his wife is on oxygen and suffering from a chronic disease, but they could at least recognize somebody eager to make a dealing by selling such an important personal item.
However, Hoppe’s post was mocked by strangers on Facebook. “It was pretty rude, the way some of them were talking,”
Hoppe said. One woman recalled, “The worst was probably the one that called him an idiot and said he couldn’t sell those hearing aids. Obviously that person didn’t put himself in Gilbert’s shoes.”
Despite this negativity, others recognized Hoppe’s need and rallied for him.
These strangers put together a GoFundMe page and even organized a fundraising event at a local American Legion. As of June 4, the GoFundMe has raised $32,336 out of its $40,000 goal.
“It surprised me at first,” said Hoppe. “I felt glad that people wanted to help me.”
One of the women who rallied to help Hoppe, Kristi Bighley, said, “I think we should respect our elders. I think we should help them. They spent their whole life helping us, building us the land we have now. He served us. It’s time for us to serve him.”
We couldn’t agree more. SHARE this uplifting story with your friends!