BY WIL CREWS
Lifelong Opelika resident David Cargill, who has served the Lee County area as a Santa Claus for over four decades, is in the fight of his life and the local community can help him.
Cargill is facing an ongoing battle with cancer, speculated to be from an oxygen machine he regularly used when sleeping. After removing a tumor from his mouth last year, Cargill underwent a successful surgery to remove a malignant tumor in his nose on Jan. 18 at UAB. The result of the procedure, however, has left Cargill without a nose, unable to speak and having to eat through a feeding tube.
Cargill debuted as Santa 45 years ago, and was annually featured in the Opelika Christmas parade with his wife as Mrs. Claus. Over the years, Cargill heard hundreds of Christmas wishes from hopeful children during his time as Santa; he also kept his community safe serving as an Opelika Police Department officer for 20 years.
“He put his life into that,” said Laura Cargill, David’s granddaughter.
Now, Laura hopes the community will hear one wish from her family and grandfather: support via a GoFundMe she created to help with medical and care expenses.
“As one might imagine, medical expenses of this nature can quickly become insurmountable,” she said. “He’s like the father I never had.”
The fundraiser’s initial goal of $4,000 has been reached, but more donations are of course welcome. Cargill has a long road of recovery ahead.
To donate: www.gofund.me/8f99eaf1