THE Answer to Mass Killings and Unlimited Lies


When the doctor saw what a hornet sting had done to Eli Schlageter, 15, causing his mouth and throat to swell, his advice to Eli’s parents was unequivocal: Get an EpiPen.

But they were stunned to learn that a single dose of the lifesaving drug, used to treat severe allergic reactions, cost $800 — even with insurance coverage — at their local pharmacy in Geraldine, Ala., a farm town about 60 miles southeast of Huntsville.

The pharmacist, Brooke Walker, found a coupon to knock off a few hundred dollars from the total. But Eli’s mother, Bree Schlageter, still balked at the price. So, to help the family, Dr. Walker turned to an envelope full of carefully folded hundred-dollar bills from an anonymous donor.


Every month for more than a decade, a local farmer, Hody Childress, had made anonymous cash donations to the pharmacy, Geraldine Drugs, aiming to help neighbors struggling to pay for prescription medication. The wider community learned of his good deed only after he died at 80 in January. Now, his family and donors from across the United States have vowed to continue his legacy.

“I think he felt like he couldn’t not give,” Tania Nix, 58, the daughter of Mr. Childress, said. “Giving that way, that just got on his heart and he felt like he needed to do it.”

Mr. Childress grew up poor, surviving with his family on subsistence farming and by hunting small game. Their house had no electricity until Mr. Childress was about 7, said his son, Douglas Childress.

An Air Force veteran, Mr. Childress worked at Lockheed Martin for about 20 years until he retired in 2001, Ms. Nix said. On Friday nights, he would carry his first wife, who had multiple sclerosis, up the bleachers at the local high school to watch football games, Douglas Childress said.


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