A 66-year-old U.S. Navy veteran dying from cancer has been selling his possessions at weekend yard sales to raise money for his own funeral, reports said Wednesday.
Willie Davis, of Cambria County, Pa., was diagnosed with stage 4 squamous cell carcinoma. He plans to raise enough cash to be buried next to his parents in Culpepper, Va., according to his GoFundMe page.
The page was created by two men, David Dunkleberger and his friend, Ed Sheets, after visiting Davis’ yard sale in Brownstown, Pa., in August. When they asked whose funeral Davis was financing, he replied: "Mine."
"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 told Johnstown, Pa.-based WJAC-TV.
Davis served in the Navy from 1970-76 during the Vietnam War, the station reported.
"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 told the station.
"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."
Dunkleberger and Sheets set the initial GoFundMe goal at $5,000, but to make Davis’ final wish of being buried beside his parents come true, they may need to raise as much as $15,000, WJAC-TV reported.
The GoFundMe campaign reached its goal of $15,000 early Thursday, and the person who put the fundraiser over the top posted: “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.”
The two men wrote that any leftover money would go to help another veteran in need.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.