‘I ain’t nothing without my wife’: 98-year-old Luther Younger walks 12 miles round trip to visit hospitalized wife

Waverlee, his wife of 50 years, is paralyzed and has battled brain cancer since 2009.

Luther Yonger TheGrio
Luther Younger, 98, wallks to see hospitalized wife. (Screenshot Spectrum News Rochester)

The next time you’re complaining about being tired or overtaxed, consider the challenges of Luther Younger—a 98-year-old Upstate New York man who walks 12 miles round trip daily to visit his wife in the hospital.

Younger makes the trek to Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, N.Y., each day to visit Waverlee, his wife of 50 years who is paralyzed and has battled brain cancer since 2009, Spectrum News Rochester reports.

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“I ain’t nothin’ without my wife,” Younger, fighting back tears, told Spectrum. “It’s been a rough pull. It’s been tough. I can’t stand to see her up there like that.”

Waverlee has been hospitalized two weeks, forcing her husband to make the long trek along I-390—a highway—to visit her, Spectrum reports.

“My dad’s always walked,” daughter Lutheta Younger told the news organization. “He says he does it to stay alive.”

Younger’s family says he’s known to walk everywhere, and Younger says he does it for his health and preservation.

“You see, I’m not humped over like those guys out here—the old guys,” he said.

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But he apparently also does it to cling onto his love of a lifetime.

“She’s the best cup of tea I never had,” Younger told Spectrum of his wife. “She would come in and kiss me and say ‘Baby’ and feed me in the bed and this is what I need right here.”

Luckily, Younger did have some recent help with his long trek to and from the hospital. Motorist Dan Bookhard recently spotted Younger walking along the highway and decided to reach out to help, Spectrum reports. Bookhard said he’d just left the Rochester airport when he saw Younger walking.

“My upbringing: when you see somebody elderly, when you see somebody struggling when it’s raining … I had to pick him up and I couldn’t be one of the ones who wouldn’t just drive by.”

Lutheta has launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for her father to visit her mother and for hospital expenses. As of Sunday night, almost $29,000 of the $40,000 requested had been raised.