If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you may remember me mentioning Frank Nelson.
A true hero.
Frank, from Barrie, Ontario, was diagnosed in 2010 with stage-four colon cancer.
Many folks in that situation would either give up entirely, or work on their “bucket list” of things they want to do or experience while they can.
But Frank’s bucket was different. He wanted to fill it with ways he could help others.
He started a Facebook group called “Paying it Back” where those in need would write in (or nominate friends or family who needed some help).
He ended up becoming a true local hero who gave $1,000 at a time to more than 40 families in need, and eventually (with the help of others’ contributions and corporate sponsors) he also:
- Arranged the donation of wheelchairs.
- Helped fund lunches for students
- Funded a grocery shopping trip as a surprise for families in need
- Surprised kids with medical issues with gifts, hockey game tickets and other special experiences
- Supported a range of community organizations that help others
And much, much more.
But beyond all the good works he did, he inspired countless people, who are now flooding his FB group page with memories, thanks, and stories. Beautiful to see.
Sadly, Frank lost his battle with cancer on Friday.
Here’s the announcement from his family on his Paying it Back FB page:
My family and I would like to inform everyone that has not already heard, of my father’s passing on December 8th. Many of you in this group have not only supported his journey but have become close friends and extended family. Since his passing, we have received an out pouring of love, and support and we are so grateful for all of your kind words. My father’s big heart, kindness and passion for helping others are only a small part of the incredible man he was and we were so proud of the way he handled his diagnosis by making the decision to start a small ripple that he dreamed would grow and spread to impact the world. It started with one small gesture and became so much more than he imagined, thank you all for being a part of that.
Anyone who would like to pay their respects are welcome to attend the visitation and service being held at Steckley Gooderham Funeral Home on Minets point in Barrie. Please visit their website at www.steckleygooderham.com for the scheduled dates and times.
At my father’s request, we would ask anyone attending to wear bright, and lively colors. My father was a positive man and wishes to have this be a celebration of his life. A day filled with smiles, laughter and as he always said “happy tears”.
In lieu of flowers my Dad would like those who wish to honor him, do so by either making a donation to World Vision or by taking the time to complete an act of kindness and posting it to the page.
Let’s rally together and flood this page with positive memories and our own “Paying it Back” experiences.
The Nelson Family ❤
I support World Vision and will continue to do so in Frank’s memory.
Frank, I hope you’re smiling down on all the lives you touched and people you inspired, including me. ♥♥♥
Song for the day. One of my all-time favourites, even though it makes me cry like a baby.