FORNEY (CBSDFW.COM) – In the town of Forney, you can go almost anywhere and hear about Danny Ray Hardman.
“Danny would do anything for anybody, anywhere,” said Rita Guinn.
She watched him grow up in this close-knit community, but really got to know him after she lost her son.
“After that, he kind of became my son,” she said. “Sometimes, I just need somebody to give me a hug and Danny did.”
A father of three young children, he earned the nickname ‘Handy Dan’ for the landscaping business he ran all too generously.
“Sometimes, he didn’t get paid for his work, ‘cause that’s the kind of person he was,” said Sherri Garza, who runs Madres Cocina.
When Hardman was diagnosed with terminal cancer earlier this year, it came as a shock.
When his wife, Amy, found out just months later that she had breast cancer, it seemed too much for one family to bear alone.
The town of Forney made sure they didn’t have to.
Taking up the slogan, Mowing Down Cancer, local businesses started selling stickers and bracelet.
People pitched in to renovate the family’s home and care for their lawn.
Warm meals began arriving regularly.
Friends organized poker games, golf tournaments, and even hunting outings to raise money for the family’s medical expenses.
Collection jars around town filled up with cash, as well as notes of support and scribbled prayers.
The cancer, though, continued to grow, and Friday morning, Danny Ray died at home.
“Forney lost a really good man today, and I lost a good friend,” said Forney Mayor Darren Rozell. “But the Hardman family battle is not over.”
If ever there was a time to return Danny’s kindness, it’s now.
“I never once heard him complain. I never once heard him say, why me? His concern was for his wife and his kids,” said Rozell.
Amy Hardman is now battling her illness aggressively. Recently getting from a double mastectomy, she’s now undergoing chemotherapy.
Friends have started a bank account in the family’s name. To find out how to donate – or to learn more about the family, check out the website they started.