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Toledo hospice patient celebrates final days helping foster community

27-year old Dameon Caldwell is suffering from chronic heart failure in hospice. He has raised over $30,000 with his memorial fund to help LGBTQ+ foster youth.

TOLEDO, Ohio — July 28 Update: According to a social media post from One Simple Wish Wednesday, July 27, Dameon Caldwell has died. At the time of his death, Dameon's Legacy Fund had raised more than $53,000.

If you were to ask someone what they would wish for, a memorial service may not be one of the first things in mind.

However, One Simple Wish founder Danielle Gletow and her team would stop at nothing for 27-year-old Dameon Caldwell, who is in hospice battling chronic heart failure.

"He had wanted to plan his own memorial and wanted it to be on his terms," Gletow said.  He wanted it to be a celebration, he didn't want it to be this depressing funeral."

Caldwell entered foster care when he was seven years old and moved around to different homes, but he was never fully adopted. He was introduced to One Simple Wish in 2019, and they knew Caldwell was special from the start.

Gletow described Caldwell as someone with a pure, genuine nature about him that shines through in everything he does.

He is just one of the approximate 25-30,000 foster care individuals in the country served by One Simple Wish.

Gletow said Caldwell has raised over $30,000 and is still accepting more donations.

A portion of the donations will be used to fulfill a wish list for Caldwell. The rest will be out toward his memorial fund for LGBTQ+ youth in foster care.

For her, it's more than just Dameon. It's the legacy he has left behind.

"He was all about helping others and there are others out there and their voices aren't heard loud enough. So, we need more people to talk about foster care and what happens after," she said.

As of July 21, Dameon Caldwell is still alive, but struggling to get through the pain of his condition. No matter what happens, Gletow knows his love will live on forever.

"He's still here with us and he very much needs to hear it and so do the other people in your life, so don't wait," Gletow said.

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