Last call: Arizona man to get one last can of Olympia beer as dying wish
PHOENIX — It’s not often you find hope or kindness in a Facebook comment section, but one Arizona man is on track to get his dying wish granted thanks to strangers on the internet.
A Yuma man in hospice told his caregiver all he wanted before he died was one last can of a very specific beverage: Olympia Beer.
“Well, we felt really touched by that and thought, ‘How hard could it be to get a can of Olympia Beer?'” John Williams, executive director of Hospice of Yuma, told KTAR News 92.3 FM.
Turns out, it was harder than you’d think.
“We started looking into it and realized that Olympia back in January has stopped producing beer,” Williams said. “That’s when we started calling around to our local beverage vendors and saying ‘hey, can you get this for us?’ and they said ‘this is going to be like finding a needle in a haystack.'”
On Sunday, Hospice of Yuma put out the simple request on Facebook: Can you spare a can?
“The response has been completely overwhelming,” Williams said. “We’ve gotten calls from Idaho, Washington, Oregon, California, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota, people from all over the United States.”
Williams said the original hope was to find someone coming to Yuma who was willing to spare a can, but instead found dozens of people willing to help and even ship cans across the country.
Eventually, they found a man who also shared a love of the nostalgic beer and was willing to share his last can.
As of Wednesday, the can was in the mail and expected to make it to its final destination.
“The gentleman that’s donating the beer, one of the things he told me is, he was keeping some of these Olympia beers in his refrigerator and once a month he would drink one,” Williams said. “For the same reason, it was nostalgia.
“He said he had one beer left but he was willing to give it up for this gentleman because the feeling of being able to give it up for this purpose, for this gentleman, knowing that he was dying, was a far better reward than drinking the beer himself.”
Williams added that while this was incredibly touching for the man involved and his family, it has also lifted the spirits of his staff after a tough year.
“It can be overwhelming sometimes for the clinical but I think that this has helped them to see and really kind of reprioritize,” Williams said. “It really is about the patients and we know that there are good people out there that they support us in helping us care for them and that means the world.”