(CBS) – Who could forget the image of a hunched over, 89-year-old Little Village man pushing an ice cream cart to try to make ends meet?
One year ago, people across the world opened their hearts, and wallets, to help – in a big way.
CBS 2’s Sandra Torres wondered: What is life like now for Fidencio Sanchez?
The Chicagoan is laughing and living the life.
Last year, Sanchez looked exhausted as we worked long days an ice cream vendor – or “paleta man” — to make ends meet. The man we see today looks much better. In fact, he says he feels like he’s 20 – not his actual age, 90.
He would probably still be working if it wasn’t for the men who snapped a picture that went viral. It showed Sanchez hunched over and pushing his ice cream cart near 26th street.
A Go Fund Me campaign caught on, with thousands around the world making donations. They totaled more than $380,000.
“It could not have happened to a better person,” says Salvador Lopez, an attorney who’s helped the family from the beginning.
“We wouldn’t say he’s living a luxurious lifestyle, by any means,” he says. But Sanchez is comfortable and doesn’t have financial concerns, the attorney says.
Mr. Sanchez now exercises twice a week and reads during his free time. He recently took a trip to Kentucky with his wife.
“The biggest change, as they would tell you, would be the gift of rest,” Lopez says.
Sanchez has chosen to stay in Little Village, the community he and his wife call home.
“This is where their friends are, this is where their church is — this is where they belong,” the attorney says.