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Dominic's Gift

October 21, 2007, 10:00 PM by Lou Raguse

Dominic's Gift
A dying man's last request is granted. 28-year-old Dominic Moore of Sioux Falls wanted to give his mother a professional photo of himself before he loses his battle with cancer. But he couldn't afford a suit or a portrait fee. 

The community, touched by the humble nature of his wish, reached out with donations. And Sunday, Dominic presented the gift his mother will never forget.It was a humble request. A last request.

Twenty-eight year old Dominic Moore fought cancer for three years, but knowing nothing else could be done, he wanted the opportunity to do just just one final thing: Give a gift to his mother.

"I never really have given my mom anything really close to me," he said last week.

Teresa Moore is the hard-working housekeeper for the Sioux Falls catholic bishop. She has a lifetime of memories of Dominic, things like staying up late with him watching his favorite mobster movies. 

"We're very close," she said. "We've always been close and talk about everything."

What she doesn't have is a nice picture of him, to look at once he's gone. Dominic, who spent most of his life very camera-shy, didn't own a suit. And he couldn't afford a photo portrait fee. But he just wanted to wear one, to pose for the camera, and to see his mother unwrap that gift before he's gone. 

"If I did, you know, one thing, that meant a lot, that would be it," he said last week.

A Sioux Falls clothing store covered the fitting and the suit. 

Rod Evans was just one of more than 20 photographers who called begging for the assignment. This "assignment" was the most fun Dominic had in two years. 

Fun, and exhausting. The cancer has taken much of Dominic's energy. But it hasn't yet taken away special Sunday afternoon moments with his family.  And on this Sunday afternoon, it couldn't take the smile from Dominic's face, when the photographer walked into his mother's home bearing gifts. 

"I have something special for you today," Evans said.

For a mother who will soon lose her only son, what could have been sweeter? 

"Oh my god," she said after unwrapping the present. "Thank you." 

"You're welcome," Dominic said.

A portrait of the mobster movie-loving young man. 

"Look at you Dominic. You look like you were made for this," his sister said.

In addition, a family shot. Mother, son, daughter. 

"Oh, beautiful," Teresa said.

And another, a closer shot of the young man's face, so Teresa will always be able to look into Dominic's eyes. 

"Oh my god, that's beautiful," Teresa said. "Look at that," she said lifting the photo.

Enough pictures to hang in every room of her home. 

"Oh god," she said. "Just going crazy. Just too much."

And for Dominic, his favorite movie poster has now been replaced. 

"No way!" Dominic said after opening a gift for him, a Scarface movie poster with himself in the photo.

The community was touched by Dominic thinking of his mother in the face of death. No one echoes that sentiment more than Teresa herself.

"I couldn't believe it," she said. "You know, I thought, do something for himself. But he said no I want to do this for you, mom. That's what he wanted. Beautiful."

In the face of death, Dominic found out - in his words - that there are more good people in the world than bad.

"Thank you, thank you, to all of you. Everyone that helped out. Friends family, People that donated to us. Thank you all. You made my mom's dream come true and mine," he said.

In the face of death, Dominic reminded a lot of us what's really important in life. 

"It's the best feeling I could get. The best feeling I could get right now," he said.

Since the original story aired last week, hundreds of people of people have called Compassionate Care Hospice hoping to help. They have a funeral fund set up to help pay for the casket and other costs. Miller funeral home has donated their services.

Compassionate Care Hospice
5200 S Cliff Ave # 103
Sioux Falls, SD 57108
(605) 338-2066 

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