Facebook post leads to a benefit for North Mankato army veteran

(St. Peter, MN) – A army veteran trying to raise money to purchase a vehicle by selling hearing aides on Facebook captured the hearts of social media users and inspired them to organize a benefit to help him.

Seventy-five-year-old Gilbert Hoppe of North Mankato is described as a shy person who never asks for help.  But when people saw his hearing aid post on Facebook and noticed a negative response, they decided to rally for Hoppe, and raise the funds he needs.

Hoppe was diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma in April 2012.  One of his kidneys was removed at the time of diagnosis, and it seemed he was doing well.  But two years later, Hoppe learned the cancer had spread to the lymph nodes in his chest, then his bones. Despite enduring painful cancerous lesions and multiple rounds of chemotherapy, he’s also remained the caregiver of his wife, who suffers from COPD.

Although the Veteran’s Administration has been a valuable resource for Hoppe, his supporters hope to raise the money he needs for a reliable vehicle. A Go Fund Me page and a Facebook group were set up, and those who supported him on social media organized a benefit.

The event will be held Sunday, May 20th from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.  at the Eagle Lake American Legion, and will include a silent auction, spaghetti feed, and karaoke.

Hoppe says the comments on social media were “rude,” but he greatly appreciates the benefit and the help offered to him by those who came to his defense.

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