Big Daddy’s Restaurant and Oyster Bar
An old school fish camp delivering much more than average fried seafood
Money raised to help with chemo treatments will instead go to two charities, thanks to a “selfless act”
Like many Charlotteans, Rémy Thurston, Director of Marketing and Branding at FS Food Group, considers Vietnamese restaurant Lang Van a second home. So when he discovered “his” server was diagnosed with blood cancer, he knew he had to do something.
“Once you’ve been to ‘LV’ enough times, they sort of assign you a server that’s always yours from then on,” Thurston says. “Ours got sick. My wife and I were devastated. She had become like family.
“I had just made myself an LV shirt and given the LV staff some for Christmas since they’ve never had branded shirts before. I got so many comments, I thought it would be the best option to be the vehicle for fundraising for her.”
Thurston launched a fundraising campaign via custom t-shirt company Custom Ink. He set a goal of 50 shirts, hoping the funds would help in some small way. In a few weeks, Lang Van supporters had purchased 1,102 t-shirts, raising a total of $33,770.
The surprising part had yet to come.
When Thurston offered the money to the employee, she refused it. She told him she couldn’t accept the money after seeing children receiving chemotherapy near her when she was getting her own treatment. She asked for the entirety of the money raised be donated to Hemby Children’s Hospital.
“I just am completely blown away by her generosity,” Thurston says. “If you took me to the other side of the world without any close family and I got sick and couldn’t work for a living, I’d be hard pressed not to take the money.”
Even with the high amount of sales and the campaign ended, many other Lang Van supporters were disappointed they missed out — on both the shirt and contributing to a good cause.
Thurston received permission to sell more shirts. This time, funds raised will benefit Claire’s Army, which supports families dealing with pediatric cancer in the Charlotte area.
Like the first round, the initial goal of 50 shirts was quickly reached — with 26 days still remaining in the second campaign. Those wanting to purchase a Lang Van t-shirt can do so here.
Meanwhile, the inspiration for these campaigns continues with her treatments.
“She got her second dose of chemo the last week of April so she’s still feeling pretty bad from that,” Thurston says. “She’s hoping her sister will be able to visit her from Canada soon. She can’t work because of how little energy she has and her high risk of infection. From my understanding, she moved in with a distant cousin while she gets treatment.
“I want people to know how selfless she is.”