KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Wayside Waifs said they are grateful for more than $108,000 in donations all to help cats.
It’s in memory of a 32-year-old Patrick Tobin, of Kansas City, who passed away earlier this month to melanoma. His husband, Michael Casner, said he impacted many people’s lives and it shows in their outpouring of support.
A chance meeting can change your life. That’s what happened for Casner and Tobin.
“Patrick and I hit it off almost immediately,” Casner said.
They met on vacation in Cape Cod back in 2018. Tobin was a native Kansas Citian and Casner was a physician living in Chicago.
“Whenever we were together it just felt right,” Casner said.
They loved spending time with friends and traveling. However, Casner said he was really passionate about cats. He said he’s always been a dog person, but through Tobin he came to love cats as well.
“He truly had a love for them, especially with our cat, Perry, he had such a bond,” Casner said.
In October of that year, Tobin called him from the gym and said he had a headache and was having trouble moving the way he wanted. Casner told his boyfriend to go to the hospital.
“They had found a tumor in his brain that was bleeding which was why he was having headaches,” Casner said.
He was diagnosed with melanoma and immediately went into surgery.
Casner said they never found the source of his cancer because it spread in his body. He immediately came to be with Tobin in Kansas City and hasn’t left his side.
“I just told him I’m in this with you for as long as you need me to be,” Casner said.
He proposed to Patrick in July of 2020 after a road trip across the U.S. He made a book filled with all of their favorite memories together and popped the question in Denver. They got married in a very small ceremony in October of last year with Tobin’s father officiating.
“We were supposed to have a big wedding earlier this month,” Casner said, “Patrick really started to get sicker.”
They had to cancel the wedding in September and Patrick passed away on October 10.
“He was only 32 when he passed away and we wanted to do something that would commemorate his life and his love for animals,” Casner said.
The family decided to start a fundraiser for Wayside Waifs to honor Patrick’s love of cats.
“We were like should we try and raise $25,000, should we try to raise $50,000 and I said – let’s just go for it. Let’s just try and raise $100,000,” Casner said.
Donations started flooding in and within a week they beat their goal. All the money raised will go to renovate the sun room and what is left over will help cats with whatever they need ahead of being adopted.
Casey Waugh with Wayside Waifs said the donation will dedicate the sunroom to Tobin permanently.
“Patrick had to have had a great impact on the community. He has so many people who cared about him, and what he cared about. Mike is doing an amazing job in spreading the word of Patrick’s importance and legacy and we just are so in awe of everything they’ve done,” Waugh said.
“It’s so perfect. It’s perfect,” Canser said.
Casner said while Tobin is gone, their love will remain. A friend of his sent him a quote by Lexi Behrndt:
“Grief is simply the way the absence of your loved one manifests in your heart. A deep longing accompanied by the deepest love.”Lexi Behrndt
While they’ve already reached their goal there is still time to donate to Patrick’s memorial fund for Wayside Waifs. If you would like to do so you can donate through their website here.