'Stay strong:' Brain tumor survivor pays for fellow survivor's birthday meal

’Stay strong: ’ Brain tumor survivor pays for fellow survivor’s birthday meal

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- While Timothy Hoehnke was celebrating his 30th birthday, he said he experienced an act of kindness he'll never forget. 

Timothy Hoehnke has the words "unstoppable" and "unbreakable" tattooed on his arm - one tattoo for each of the birthdays he's had since he was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor. CBS 58 first introduced you to Hoehnke as he was preparing for brain surgery.

"I've ended up having two birthdays now since I've been diagnosed with this brain tumor, which is an accomplishment," he said. 

This year's birthday was his 30th. To celebrate, he and a friend went to the Cheesecake Factory. 

"A family next to me, they noticed what I was wearing, and the grandfather, or the father of the whole crew I guess I would say, just grabbed my hand and he's like, 'did you just have surgery?' I said about a year ago, but this helps with the brain tumor that I have."

The man speaking to him revealed he was a brain tumor survivor. 

After meeting the man's family, the two carried on with their meals, and then it was time for the bill. 

"The waitress goes, 'the family that was next to you actually paid for your bill, and they left a little note.'" 

"God's got you, and stay strong," the note said. 

"I instantly got the chills," Timothy said. "I started tearing up, this has never happened to me before.

An unexpected gift from a family that understands the value in not only every birthday, but every day. 

Timothy likes to say that he's flipped the script. He's not living with cancer, cancer's living with him. And he's going to continue doing the things he loves - rock climbing, going to the gym, and of course, celebrating birthdays.

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