REAL LIFE

This young man invited his elderly neighbour to live with him as she battles cancer

Make sure you have your tissues handy!
Instagram - Chris Salvatore

When Chris Salavtore moved to California four years ago, he never imagined that a simple introduction to his neighbour would change his life forever.

Introducing himself to 89-year-old Norma Cook, who lived across the hall, Chris soon learned that she had no family living close by.

So began a beautiful friendship where Chris would help Norma with her errands, including cooking meals together and driving her to all her appointments.

Describing himself as the ‘grandson she never had,’ Chris and Norma would even make time for an afternoon ‘gossip sesh’ or pizza party together.

But when Norma’s health began to decline last year after being diagnosed with Leukaemia, Chris was told by one of her nurses that Norma would be lucky to survive the holidays.

So Chris hatched a plan to help Norma pay for 24-hour home care by creating a GoFundMe page, so she would be able to see out her last days in the comfort of her own home.

In just seven hours, more than $25,000 had been raised. That figure soon doubled within a month!

Amazingly, Norma has defied the odds and has made it past the holidays and is continuing to thrive with the support of carers at home.

However, as it became clear that the pair would need a longer-term solution, Chris decided that instead of spending her homecare funds to cover rent, Norma should move in with him instead.

The couple now happily share an apartment where Norma has her very own bedroom and bathroom and is still looked after primarily by her caregivers.

When asked what this experience meant to him by GoFundMe, Chris said ‘My life has changed forever because of Norma and what happened. It gave me hope again. I’m forever grateful for Norma because I feel like I’ll carry this with me for the rest of my life.’

We wish Norma all the best!

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