Kroger customers send hundreds of cards and donations for worker

Kroger customers send hundreds of cards and donations for sick worker

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"He would take my groceries out, we would always talk. He would tell me everything about his life. I would tell him about mine, my family. We just got to be close friends," says longtime customer Mary Clare Sheridan. "He would take my groceries out, we would always talk. He would tell me everything about his life. I would tell him about mine, my family. We just got to be close friends," says longtime customer Mary Clare Sheridan.
Nearly $1,000 in donations and more than 200 cards from those that simply went through his checkout line have been collected. Nearly $1,000 in donations and more than 200 cards from those that simply went through his checkout line have been collected.

By TEARSA SMITH
6 News Anchor/Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - One North Knoxville community is rallying around a well-known community member who has fallen ill to brain cancer.

For more than 20 years, there has been a stand out worker at the Fountain City Kroger.

His name is Barry Hughes, and many customers look forward to heading to his checkout lane for a friendly conversation or to do some catching up.

But Barry is off the job right now fighting a terminal, cancerous brain tumor.

"He would take my groceries out, we would always talk. He would tell me everything about his life. I would tell him about mine, my family. We just got to be close friends," says longtime customer Mary Clare Sheridan.

Born with cerebral palsy, Barry has lived an independent life, working almost 23 years with the grocery chain.

His longtime coworker Don Gideon said, "He's not a quitter. Barry, I don't know if he wants me to tell this, but he wasn't supposed to walk, but his momma said, Yes he will.' He's done a whole lot of things he wasn't supposed to, so you know what kind of fighter he is."

He's putting up the fight of his life right now after a brain tumor was recently discovered.

His mother, Barbara Tapp, was devastated by the news.

"He forgets what's wrong with him. 'Mom, why am I not going to work?' I gently tell him he has a cancerous tumor. 'We need to tell Mr. Cavalaris. He needs to get someone to take my place. I don't want to leave them short handed'," Tapp said of her son.

His coworkers sprang into action, collecting money for his medical bills and getting the word out to customers.

"Oh, we were devastated. I mean it just didn't seem real. It was awful," said co-manager Ranee Webb.

It has prompted an outpouring of love for Barry. Nearly $1,000 in donations and more than 200 cards from those that simply went through his checkout line have been collected.

"I am proud of my son and what he has accomplished in life. To come through many illnesses and interacting with people, it's been a joy that someone as simple as he is can affect so many lives," says Barry's mother.

To donate to Barry Hughes, contact any Suntrust Bank.

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