Today, in honor of National Grandparents Day, we share a story from Hannah Hammond of Milton, Ga., whose grandfather, Murray, passed away from pancreatic cancer earlier this year. She reminisces on how his kindness and generosity inspired her and other family members to always pay it forward and help those in need. She plans to participate in PurpleStride this fall in his honor and fight for those facing pancreatic cancer.
My grandpa, Murray, whose nickname was “Popsie,” was diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer on March 6, 2015. Heartbreak took over our family upon learning of his diagnosis, but we also knew he was a born fighter.
Because of his fighting spirit, I always referred to him as my rock star. He was a person who was dedicated to the well-being of others and knew no strangers.
Popsie put everyone’s needs before his own. He was the type of man who would give you his jacket when it was below freezing, so you’d stay warm.
He grew up in poverty in Memphis, Tenn., and started working when he was 5 to help support his family. He would work until the early hours of the morning and then hitch a ride to his 6:30 a.m. college classes.
He would do this without complaining and always kept others at the forefront of his mind.
One Christmas, he and my brother made a deal -- instead of a present, my Popsie would take another family shopping to give to them what my brother did not need. This became a tradition that has expanded over the past decade. Our family always admired his big heart and generosity, so it comes as no surprise that they created a foundation in his name.
The Hail Murray Foundation provides to families during hard times, just as my Popsie did throughout his life.
He courageously battled pancreatic cancer for a year before passing away on March 22, 2016.
He was surrounded by his family and all the love in the world. I can’t think of a more deserving man to have that much love all around him.
This is for you, my sweet Popsie. You are my rock star and my guardian angel. I will continue your fight.
I Wage Hope for you.
Wage Hope for your loved ones by registering for your local PurpleStride today.