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Valley man who was battling cancer and homelessness and was reunited with his daughter after 42 years passes away

67-year-old Sydney has been receiving care from Circle the City since July as he's battled cancer. The non-profit reunited him with his daughter after 42-years.

PHOENIX — UPDATE (12/30/21): The Valley man reunited with his daughter after 42 years died Thursday morning, according to an official with Circle the City.  

Statement from Circle the City:

"Sydney passed away today peacefully at 6:50 a.m. at Circle the City Midtown Medical Respite Center. He was surrounded by love, comfort and compassion of staff members who treated him like family. We are deeply saddened by his passing. Sydney brought joy to us all at Circle the City. Please keep Sydney and all our patients in your prayers." 

Granting a holiday wish 

Tomorrow is never promised and time is often taken for granted. For 67-year-old Sydney Babbit, life hasn't been easy. He's experienced homelessness and came to Circle the City (CTC) back in July. 

The non-profit is the Valley's largest medical provider for people without a roof over their heads. Sydney is a patient at CTC's respite clinic and is battling an aggressive form of cancer. He recently asked his clinical nurse assistant, Christianna Reinhardt and the CTC team to help fulfill a wish he's had for decades; to be reunited with his daughter. 

"When we have a patient like Syd who has been estranged from his family for a while and that's his request to be reunited, anyone on the team would do anything they can to make that happen,” said Reinhardt. 

Finding Sydney's daughter

Reinhardt took action, relying on her background as a former journalist. 

“I did a search. Made a few phone calls and got to Syd’s family,” said Reinhardt. 

Christianna found his daughter in Tampa Bay, Florida. The CTC team organized a trip for her to fly into Phoenix to see her father after being separated for 42-years. 

“It is a Christmas miracle. It’s a big miracle in my life.”  

Time may have separated the father and daughter but their bond remained. The two of them embraced after 42 years apart. 

“It was a moment without words,” said Sydney. A moment without words but their silence and time together said everything. 

Circle the City staff captured their moment together. Although brief, it was everything Sydney wanted in the little time he may have left. They gave him a framed picture of the two of them which he looks at with affection and peace. 

“I may not see my daughter again," said Sydney. "This is about the nicest thing I’ve ever had; the nicest picture I’ve ever gotten.”  

“That exceeds medical care, that’s human care,” said Reinhardt. 

This Christmas holiday Sydney is reflecting on his life and the time he has left. He appreciated Circle the City and the medical staff that helped fulfill his final wish. 

“Circle the City has done more for me than anything I can think of; they’ve helped me survive,” said Sydney. 

Circle the City is a dynamic non-profit community health organization dedicated to providing high-quality, holistic healthcare to people experiencing homelessness in Maricopa County.


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