Dan’s Coffee Run
Dan Dewey warms the hearts and throats of many in Metro Detroit.
Chemotherapy is in some cases physically excruciating to the receiver and, most definitely, mentally draining. Many of these patients are receiving treatment to cure a life-threatening disease and will have horrible after effects, just a short while later. Brightening their day would seem like an insurmountable task, but Dan does it! Twice a week for the past seven years.
Dewey, 67, has been delivering Starbucks to patients receiving chemotherapy at St. Joseph’s Cancer Center and Rose Cancer Center. He goes twice a week, takes patients’ coffee orders, and brings them back a delicious treat. He does this simply to try and brighten their day, just a bit. “If they’re having a bad day, I’ll twist their arm and make them get one of those ‘frou-frou’ drinks like a caramel Frappuccino. There are no rules, have two drinks if you want,” said Dewey.
Dewey first started this endeavor when his father was being treated for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2002 at St. Joe’s. “He had to sit in a big blue chair getting chemotherapy for a couple of hours each time,” he says, remembering that difficult period. “My father was from the World War II generation, he didn’t need anything, but I was definitely going to need a coffee.” At first it was just grabbing coffee for himself and a few others in the waiting area, then he realized that people genuinely enjoyed their treats. He has continued this until the present day. His bi-weekly visits each cost around $200 – $250, delivering drinks to more than 90 people. His balancing skills are excellent. [Insert pic holding cups]
When he first started, Dewey paid for these drinks out of his own pocket. Being a former school district employee, his pension was small and he says he couldn’t really afford it, “but I’ve never had any money anyway, so why not just share what I do have?”
In 2011 a Facebook page was created by a Starbucks employee, Valerie Edgington, to help offset the cost. To this day, she still maintains this page. Dan’s Coffee Run continues to operate because of generous donors. The change this one man made on so many lives is amazing and inspiring. If you would like to be a part of Dan’s epic story, click here to donate.