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The next time you’re complaining about being tired or overtaxed, consider the challenges of Luther Yonger—a 98-year-old Upstate New York man who walks 6 miles each way daily to visit his wife in the hospital.
Yonger makes the trek to Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, N.Y., each day to visit Waverlee, his wife of 50 years who is paralyzed and has battled brain cancer since 2009, Spectrum News Rochester reports.
“I ain’t nothin’ without my wife,” Yonger, fighting back tears, told Spectrum. “It’s been a rough pull. It’s been tough. I can’t stand to see her up there like that.”
Waverlee has been hospitalized two weeks, forcing her husband to make the long trek along I-390—a highway—to visit her, Spectrum reports.
“My dad’s always walked,” daughter Lutheta Yonger told the news organization. “He says he does it to stay alive.”
Yonger’s family says he’s known to walk everywhere, and Yonger says he does it for his health and preservation.
“You see, I’m not humped over like those guys out here – the old guys,” he said.
But he apparently also does it to cling onto his love of a lifetime.
“She’s the best cup of tea I never had,” Yonger told Spectrum of his wife. “She would come in and kiss me and say ‘Baby’ and feed me in the bed and this is what I need right here.”
Luckily, Yonger did have some recent help with his long trek to and from the hospital. Motorist Dan Bookhard recently spotted Yonger walking along the highway and decided to reach out to help, Spectrum reports. Bookhard said he’d just left the Rochester airport when he saw Yonger walking.
“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 wouldn’t just drive by.”