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Stranger donates face mask so boy with cerebral palsy can attend grandfather's funeral

An Ohio mother wants everyone to know there are still good people out there, after a stranger stepped up to help when her family was in need.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Recently Stacey Hoover felt the urge to remind people of a simple concept.

"Just wanting [people] to know that there are good people out there," Hoover said.

The concept comes after Hoover said goodbye earlier this month to her father. Richard Goulet, 74, was a Vietnam veteran and had been battling stage four lung cancer since last year. Hoover says the services, with social distancing and the spread of coronavirus, weren't what he deserved.

"We couldn't hug or kiss each other like we would have liked to," she said. "We had to sit 6 feet apart in the funeral home and it was just hard."

Making it more difficult, Hoover's 10-year-old son, Landon, almost didn't go to the services. He has spastic diplegia, which is a painful form of cerebral palsy. With a weakened immune system and without a facemask it wasn't a risk Hoover was willing to take.

Credit: Stacey Hoover
Richard Goulet, 74, passed away after a battle with lung cancer

"The fear that I had...the thought of something happening...I was not going to take him," she said.

She posted to Facebook and within 10 minutes she had dozens of offers from people wanting to help.

"I think you just have to put yourself in other peoples' shoes," Hoover said in appreciation.

It's one thing to walk a mile in someone's shoes, but to drive 30 miles to drop off a care package is a whole new level to that simple concept.

Credit: Stacey Hoover
Landon Hoover, 10, was able to attend his grandfather's funeral, thanks to a donation from a stranger.

"She drove all the way from Canal Winchester to put it on my door to make sure that Landon had it for Monday," Hoover said.

She is Danielle McLeish. And, until being connected on the same video call, Tuesday afternoon, she had never met the Hoovers.

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She has an Etsy shop and made the masks for Stacey and Landon. Landon's was decked out with Avengers characters. His favorite, Captain America, was front-and-center.

"Thanks for giving me the mask," Landon said.

"Oh, you're welcome," McLeish answered. "I hope you liked it!"

"Thank you so much from the bottom of our heart," Stacey told McLeish. "[To] be able to say goodbye to his grandfather who was his idol, who he loved so much, meant so much to us."

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