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Native battling lymphoma dies

Less than a month ago, the family of 34-year-old Shaun Morgan was facing a battle on two fronts: The grief of knowing the beloved young husband would soon pass away from lymphoma; and the stress of not knowing how they would pay for his final expenses.

Wednesday, Morgan passed away, ending his battle with cancer. Thursday, the $11,000 goal for donations to help with his burial was exceeded by $120.

Family member Jennifer Rider, who set up and oversaw donations through gofundme.com, said the family is very appreciative to everyone who has made donations to the struggling young couple.

“We reached our goal of $11,000,” Rider posted Wednesday. “Thank you all for donating and sharing. I’ve set up the funds to be deposited immediately into Caitlin’s (Morgan) account. Caitlin expressed how thankful she was for all the generous donations and that it has helped relieve a huge stress. Thank you all again, and God bless.”

Caitlin and Shaun Morgan married in 2012, while he was in remission from lymphoma. Within months, however, he began experiencing troublesome symptoms and was soon told the cancer had returned, according to his mother-in-law, Cindi Rider Cross.

As his condition worsened, the Morgans reached out to the community for help and only weeks before his death, Shaun Morgan himself expressed his thanks for the kindness of that community in a letter submitted to The Star-News.

“My wife and I have been, and are still in the midst of, the most trying ordeal of our lives,” he wrote. “And yet, what has seemed to happen here, when taken as a whole, is nothing short of breathtaking. I have seen what true community really is, and it exists right here.”

Morgan also wrote of the community’s generosity, both monetarily and otherwise.

“People have appeared from seemingly nowhere to offer their generosity,” he wrote. “And financial assistance is only a part of that, though one Caitlin and I are grateful beyond words for. A kind word, a prayer for me and my family, offers to help with basic tasks that would otherwise go wanting in a time of grief. In these days, I have felt like a rich man. Not in wealth, but love, respect and people taking time for the smallest or simplest displays of basic kindness.”

Shaun Morgan will be laid to rest Saturday, with Foreman Funeral Home coordinating arrangements. Anyone who would like to make an additional donation to the family may do so by contacting Cross at 334-892-4236.