Luther Younger, 98, may be tired but he refuses to let his age or aches keep him from visiting his wife, Waverlee, to whom he’s been married for over 50 years. “You see, I’m not humped over like those guys out here – the old guys,” Younger said.
Waverlee, who suffers from paralysis, has had brain cancer since 2009. She’s been in the hospital for two weeks, and Younger, a Korean War veteran, walks six miles a day to be with her at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, New York, regardless of the weather.
“She’s the best cup of tea I ever had,” Younger told Spectrum News Rochester. “I ain’t nothing without my wife. It’s been a rough pull. It’s been tough.”
“She would come in and kiss me and say ‘baby’ and feed me in the bed, and this is what I need right here,” he added.
Strong Memorial Hospital (SMH) is an 830-bed medical facility, part of the University of Rochester Medical Center complex, in Rochester. Opened in 1926, it provides both inpatient and outpatient medical services. Strong has leading programs in cardiac care, cancer care, neurology, orthopedics, and pediatrics.
Younger’s daughter Lutheta has tried to work around her schedule as a massage therapist to bring him to the hospital, but he rather not keep his wife waiting. Lutheta decided to start a GoFundMe page to help her parents with medical bills and rides to the hospital. So far she has raised over $28,000.
“They both live with me,” she said. “I moved them out of their house, moved them in with me. The whole time she was sick, he would stay overnight [in the hospital]. He wouldn’t leave her. He just wants the best for my mom.”
On Tuesday, as Younger was making his way to the hospital, Dan Bookhard, who had just left the airport, spotting him walking along I-390.
“My upbringing; when you see somebody elderly; when you see somebody struggling; when it’s raining...I had to pick him up and I couldn’t be one of the ones who would just drive by,” said Bookhard.
One woman, Vanessa Tynes, who couldn't donate, expressed her support of Younger online. "May God bless you and your wife we can't donate right now but will as soon as we can. We to have been married for coming up on 50 years. God bless and may his angels walk with you and your family I will keep you both I’m my prayers."
Nichola DePass, also offered encouragement, writing, "There is no price high enough for true love. So many men of today should see what partnership, education and unconditional true love look like and it is this. May God bless him and his wife ten times over. May his angels walk with him and stay by her side every day. xoxo"
To support Younger and his wife, visit their GoFundMe page.