By Suzanne Le Mignot


Chicago (CBS) — After an empanada vendor was robbed of his daily earnings twice, the kindness of one customer transformed his life.

Modesto Fuentes’ dream, was to retire to Mexico and, more importantly, place a new cross on his wife Juana’s grave. Now, his dream, has become a reality.

RELATED GoFundMe Raises Thousands For Gage Park Empanada Vendor Robbed Twice In Two Weeks

Tears filled the 80-year-old empanada vendor’s eyes after he received a check for $15,060. His costumer, Tania Rangel, heard Fuentes had been robbed twice in two weeks. In one case, the thief took the $40 the senior citizen made that day and four empanadas.

Fuentes walks six miles around Gage Park, three days a week, selling his empanadas.

Thanks to a GoFundMe page set up by Rangel, the 80-year-old can now enjoy retirement in his homeland after working for 13 years as an empanada vendor.

“I didn’t know it was going to be this big. I thought maybe a couple people would share it,” Rangel said. “I feel like I reached my goal.”

Fuentes says he plans to move back to Mexico by October. November is the five-year anniversary of the death of his beloved wife Juana, and he will have that new cross he wanted to buy on her grave site.