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Labor of Love
Man collects cans to pay for wife's medicine

William Newsome is a devoted and loving husband. He proves it every day.

Mr. Newsome, a retiree after 32 years with the Georgia Department of Transportation, gathers aluminum cans every week in an effort to ensure his wife gets the medicine she needs to stay alive.

"If I didn't do this, we wouldn't have the money needed to buy the medicine that she's got to have," said Mr. Newsome, a Thomson resident.

"I love my wife very much. I've got to provide for her as best I can."

Gathering aluminum cans and selling them has been one of the ways Mr. Newsome has been able to have the money for his wife's medicine.

"It might be a little hard sometimes, depending on the weather, but it's an honest way of making the extra money needed to buy the medicine my wife has got to have," explained Mr. Newsome.

It matters not how hot or cold it gets, he is as faithful as it gets to his wife, Pam.

"I'd do anything for her," Mr. Newsome said. "She's been there for me many times."

In the summer, he rummages through trash cans around Thomson.

The winter months are a little more challenging.

When the temperatures drop, he bundles up in layers of clothing -- even wrapping his face for warmth.

Each time Mr. Newsome leaves his home to seek cans, he drives off in his pickup and parks behind Hughes Furniture, where he gets out with a bucket and begins his trek.

He looks for discarded cans in trash containers.

Several businesses help him by collecting cans in plastic bags.

"Sometimes I find a lot of cans and sometimes I don't," Mr. Newsome said. "I appreciate the businesses that save the cans for me. It really means a lot to me."

When the market is down on the sale of aluminum cans, Mr. Newsome simply holds onto the cans that he has collected until the prices rise.

"That's really the only way you can make any money," he explained.

Asked how long he plans on doing what he does to help take care of his wife, Mr. Newsome replied, "For as long as it takes. I really love my wife."

Mr. Newsome empties a bucket of aluminum cans. A number of downtown businesses collect cans for him. "It really means a lot to me," he said.

Web posted on Thursday, October 15, 2009

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