Cancer Patient Who Had No Choice But To Panhandle Pens Thoughtful Letter To Everyone Who Helped Him

Cancer Patient Who Had No Choice But To Panhandle Pens Thoughtful Letter To Everyone Who Helped Him
World
Like Us On Facebook
Like Us On Facebook

A broke cancer patient reduced to panhandling unexpectedly discovered that he lives in quite possibly the kindest city in the world.

52-year-old Scott Murray has been battling non-Hodgkins lymphoma for the past 10 years and cannot work due to his condition, the Ottawa Citizen reports.

The entirety of his federal disability pension goes towards his $1,000-a-month rent for his apartment near the Ottawa Hospital General Campus, leaving him a $500 government check for all of his expenses, which includes a $300 monthly copayment for his medication.

“It’s left me a little short on my food money,” Murray told the Citizen.

Murray woke up last Thursday to an empty refrigerator. He would have gone to his local food bank, but it is only open on Wednesdays. His cat, Smokey, was hungry too.

“I woke up. I’ve got a little cat here with me and he was just a-whining because I hadn’t fed him for a while. And I said to myself, pride goes before the fall. You know I decided to try something. First time in my life.”

Murray grabbed his walker and went to the nearby mall where he stood outside holding a sign that read:

“Cancer patient, just need some food and milk, please and thank you.”

The former Food Inspection worker was stunned in disbelief at the response he received.

Strangers supplied Murray with enough money to feed himself along with his cat and still have some left over.

“I can tell you every person that gave me a nickel or a $20 bill,” he told the Citizen two days ago. “I can tell what they looked like and what they said. It wasn’t just that they mindlessly dropped money in a cup then walked away.”

The incredible outpour of generosity inspired Murray to write “an open letter to the people of Ottawa,” thanking his city for its unprecedented compassion.

The Montreal native worked with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency as an import-export controller for 10 years until he was diagnosed in 2004. Medication held off the cancer from spreading temporarily, but it came back last May.

Thankfully, Murray is once again in remission.

“This time, it’s been really tough,” he says.

But the financial damage dealt by this second bout with cancer revealed to Murray how fortunate he is to be surrounded by so many loving people.

“I didn’t want to and I had to keep my head down (but) when somebody put something in my cup I made eye contact and thanked them.”

To Murray, the people of Ottawa “have hearts as big as our snowbanks.”


Here is the full text of Murray’s letter (from the Ottawa Citizen):

“This is an open letter to the people of Ottawa. Recently I have fallen on hard times and ran out of food, so when I checked with my local food bank to find they are only open on Weds. from 1-3. Well this was Thursday, so for the first time in my life I swallowed my pride and made up a sign that stated “Cancer patient just need some food & milk, please and thank you.

“Then I sat on my walker in the front of the Elmvale Mall entrance with a Tim Hortons cup. The outpouring from people was too much to bear. One young lady gave me $20 and then another lady with a disabled daughter got out and gave me another $20. That was it. I cried for almost an hour. For complete strangers to show concern for a person they didn’t even know was too much.

I had all my medical records with me in case someone thought I might be pulling a fast one. Not one person doubted me. So if anyone says the people of Ottawa are cold or uncaring, I will be the first to correct them. Once again, thank you to anyone who gave me a dime or a twenty dollar bill. You have hearts as big as our snowbanks in the city.

“Yours humbly, Scott Murray.”


Via: Ottawa Citizen, Top Photo Credit: Getty Images

Share Tweet
React
Like Us On Facebook
Like Us On Facebook

Sean Levinson

Sean Levinson loves writing almost as much as he loves ranting about politics. Elite Daily lets him do both, and he couldn't be happier now that he's finally putting his years at SUNY New Paltz to good use. When he's not writing, Sean enjoys nature excursions, playing the guitar and the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Look for him on "Real Time with Bill Maher," where he regularly appears in his most precious fantasies.

More In World

World Laura Argintar

Iconic Fashion Designer Oscar De La Renta Dies At Age 82

It is a tragic day in fashion history, as beloved fashion designer, Oscar de la Renta has died at age 82. De la Renta, who most recently designed Amal Clooney’s iconic wedding dress, was diagnosed with cancer in 2006, according to ABC News. He leaves behind a regal fashion legacy that has graced numerous red […]

World Emily Arata

Racial Profiling Experiment Shows How Cops Treat People Differently (Video)

When YouTubers Adam Saleh and Sheikh Akbar began filming their latest video in their “cultural clothing,” they noticed police were nearly always close by. So, the pair filmed something of a social experiment. Dressed in Western clothing, they argued in front of a police officer, who didn’t react. But, when one wore a headscarf and robe, […]

Also On Elite

Sex

Mixxxer Is The Tinder For People Who Just Want To Have Sex ASAP

Since its inception, dating app Tinder gained a reputation for being about casual sex rather than real relationships. However, there’s a new app just for hooking up that those seeking casual sex can use instead. You can avoid any confusion and get straight to the point. The app, Mixxxer, makes it clear it is not a […]

World

Number Of People Who May Have Been Exposed To Ebola In Texas Surges To 100

As many as 100 people came into contact with Thomas Eric Duncan or his family before the first Ebola patient in the US was hospitalized. Although some reports are saying there were 80 people potentially exposed, those reports exclude the 12 t0 18 already under careful watch. It’s unclear whether Duncan was showing symptoms of the disease before […]

Women

19 Miserable Snapchats Girls Send When They Have Their Periods

Is there anything worse for a female than having her period? Well, I guess not getting her period would be worse, but that’s not the point here. Periods suck because they never come at a convenient time (like during the week) and they make us want to crawl out of our skin. Plus, you can bet […]

World

Man Claims He Was Asleep When He Committed Rape And Gets Charge Overturned

A Swedish man had his rape conviction overturned after an appeals court found him to be a victim of sexomnia, a rare condition that causes one to inadvertently engage in sexual acts while asleep. A woman called the police to say she had been assaulted by Mikael Halvarsson on April 2, according to ABC News. […]