An 18-year-old pizza place employee drove 450 miles round-trip to make the day of an Indianapolis man in hospice care. Dalton Shaffer, who works at Battle Creek, Michigan’s Steve Pizza, made the long journey to deliver two pies to Rich Morgan just days before the man died of cancer.
In a Facebook post shared last week, Rich’s wife, Julie, recounted how she and her husband lived in Battle Creek over 20 years ago, where they discovered their all-time favorite pizza spot, Steve’s. Though the couple had planned to make a trip back to the eatery, they had to cancel their plans after Rich’s ongoing battle with cancer took a turn for the worse.
When Rich was placed on hospice care, Julie’s father decided to call Steve’s, despite that the restaurant didn’t deliver and was located three-and-a-half hours away. Luckily, Shaffer answered the phone. When he heard the couple’s story, he didn’t hesitate before asking what their favorite pizza was and agreeing to deliver the pies after the store closed.
“So, while Rich and I slept, at 2:30 AM, Dalton rolled into our driveway, left the car running and delivered two extra special pizzas to my waiting family. He told them we were in his prayers, and offered to help in any way he could,” Julie wrote in her Facebook post. She also revealed that Shaffer turned down the family’s offer to put him up in a hotel and instead drove back that same night so that he could be back for work the next day.
The post has since gone viral, with over 4,000 shares and 1,000 likes. “I really didn’t want the story to get this big,” Shaffer told Good Morning America. “It’s too late now, but a lot of people have told me how inspiring the story is and that makes it all worth it.”
Julie also praised Shaffer’s generosity, writing, “I am beyond overwhelmed and humbled by this act of genuine kindness. Dalton brought our family so much joy – and the best pizza in the world – at a really difficult time. “
The gesture also marked a special moment for the couple in the final days of Rich’s life. Julie later has since revealed that Rich passed on away on Saturday. “There are no words to express how deeply we loved and admired him, and how much he loved us in return. Thank you so much for the outpouring of prayers and support,” she wrote of his passing, per CNN.
As for Schaffer, he hopes the story will inspire people to help others in their time of need. “I have already gotten a ton of phone calls from people saying they were inspired in the future to help other people and to be able to do things like that. To me, that right there is what I want,” he told CNN. “I just want people to think about the family and pray for them.”