Hundreds gather to benefit cancer patient

More than 300 people came to support Willie.

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Hundreds of people packed the American Legion Hall Post 207 in West Springfield tonight for a benefit.

They came to support Willie Johnston. Two and a half months ago, Johnston was diagnosed with stage 4 stomach cancer.

But he’s managed to take life one day at a time.

Tonight, he was surrounded by his family and friends, who wore shirts to support his battle.

Tonight’s benefit raised money for his medical expenses, and provided funding for an important item on his bucket list.

“My bucket list was to go to Sturgis with my best friend who died last year, so I’m taking his ashes and we’ve raised enough money to do that”, said Johnston.

Gabrielle Russel, Willie’s niece, told 22News, “We’ve raised a lot of money and everybody is enjoying themselves and we are with him and that’s all that matters.”

More than 300 people came to support Willie. The hall was donated.

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