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Some people think that the world has become incredibly unfriendly. But Larry Yockey’s story shows that there are still people who look out for each other.
Even in the 21st century, the threat of illness taking away your ability to work is still a huge worry.
While there is worker sick pay, disability money, and other benefits, the fact is that if you become seriously ill, you will probably lose a lot of money. And in America, that worry is doubled by the high cost of health care.
These fears looked like they would come true for Larry Yockey, a farmer in Washington State who was diagnosed with stage four skin cancer that had spread to other parts of his body.
“The cancer has spread to my bones, so I have a broken hip and ribs.” – Yockey.
As Yockey was self-employed, he would have no sick pay to keep him going through his treatment.
He realized that he had very little choice. He needed life-saving medical care. And that meant that he wouldn’t be able to hold down a living anymore.
Still, Yockey tried to work while undergoing cancer treatment. Initially, he could just about harvest the fields. But he got weaker and weaker every day.
There were a couple of farms around Yockey’s land. The farmers all knew each other. Yockey didn’t like to talk about himself or his problems, but the other farmers could see that their friend was ill.
One of them asked Yockey if he was going to successfully yield his harvest. Yockey admitted that, no, he could not.
But Yockey’s friends were not content with letting their friend lose everything he had ever known.
Yockey’s farm was his livelihood. In fact, the farm had been in his family for four generations. And now, it looked like he’d have to sell it.
Yockey’s farmer friends told other farmers in their region about Yockey’s illness.
They said that if he didn’t harvest his fields, he might lose the farm forever.
In a couple of days, Yockey woke up, feeling depressed. It was the day when he should have delivered his harvest.
But none of his crops had been cut down. How was he going to pay the bills, he thought.
But then he heard something. One of his farmer friends was driving his tractor onto Yockey’s farm. And behind him were seven more farmers on seven more tractors.
Then another of his friends showed up, with more farmers in tow. And then another.
In the end, 61 people, made up of Yockey’s friends, friends of Yockey’s friends and others who had heard about Yockey’s struggle had pulled together.
They had all decided to pitch in and help out. The harvest, which usually took three weeks, would have to be done in six hours.
Yockey and his family were awed at this. They watched the farmers spread out across his land and harvest his crops.
They could see that their farm wasn’t going away any time soon. Yockey’s friends had ensured that the farm would keep running, even if Yockey was ill.
This was incredibly inspiring for Yockey’s daughter.
She said plans to farm the fields one day. Seeing her dad’s friends helping out must have really encouraged her to follow in the family tradition!
If only everyone could look out for their community like the farmers in this story.
Some of them didn’t know Yockey, but they heard his story and realized that they could help a fellow farmer out.
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Source: CBS Evening News