Community responds to help dying Durham man stay in his home

Jack Bankston and his dog Casey. WNCN photo

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – Just last week, 70-year-old Jack Bankston faced the possibility of losing his home. The Berkeley at Southpoint apartment complex wants to raise his rent by $145 a month, a payment Bankston couldn’t afford until the community stepped in to help.

Bankston is dying and might only have six months to live. He told CBS North Carolina last week he just wants to stay in his home with his dog Casey, his best friend.

“The only thing that I could do is just to ball up in the middle of the floor in the fetal position and thought, ‘God what am I going to do,'” said a desperate Bankston who poured his heart out last week.

Bankston said he asked the apartment owner if he could keep his rent the same rate, or if it was going to increase, to make it a figure he could work with. But, the apartment wouldn’t budge.

CBS North Carolina Investigates asked multiple times for a response, but the apartment management did not respond. The community, however, did.

In just three days, Jack and Casey have been given more than $11,000 in donations, shattering their goal and expectations.

“Now I can lay down without having to worry about a lot of things,” said Bankston, adding, “I was just in awe, I thought I can’t believe this.”

The more questions Jack was asked, the more he thanked the community.

“I just want to thank everybody from the bottom of my heart, for what they’ve done for me and how they’ve turned my life around,” he said.

Bankston lives by the motto you pay your bills first, you eat second. But now he shouldn’t have to worry about that.

“I cannot even express how grateful I am for the people who have helped me in this community. Even Meals on Wheels, I got a roasted chicken yesterday and it’s probably going to take me three weeks to eat this thing!” he joked.

Bankston’s rent will still likely be raised, but now he’s got the money to pay it which means Jack plans to spend the rest of his days with Casey by his side, in his home.

“It has even made my faith stronger because I have prayed and prayed and prayed but then I realized, God’s going to answer your prayers, but He’s not going to answer them when you want. He’s going to answer them when He’s ready to do his thing and He certainly has done His thing with me,” said Bankston.

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