Joe Daily was a year ahead of my in high school. I always thought he was a bit of a prick, and wore his cancer like some sort of badge of honor, like his football team of choice, and seemed (either intentionally or not) to use it as a definition of who he was. Almost like he wouldn't exist at all, or he'd have just slipped under the radar as another guy if he hadn't had cancer.
In my later years of high school, and immense charity movement was initiated to help Joe. I've never known if Joe himself was from a wealthy family, but the rich patrons of Flushing clung to him, and the community dumped money into his funds. He received his surgery, and was cured to an extent, cancer in remission. Although at the time I was somewhat bitter - he wound up receiving an alternate treatment to what we'd initially given money for - it stood in something of a light that, regardless of what treatment he received, some treatment, communally-funded, had helped him immensely. I'd never really thought about that until now.
Because it kind of represented the optimism that permeates the community I grew up in; we can help, even if we're naive, wealthy, and mostly buy 11$ wine at grocery stores because we have shitty taste, but that isn't the point. He's dead now, community love be damned. It's sort of the death of that optimism that, although I make little use of, was a decided part of my upbringing.