For Julie Morgan's 56th birthday in September, the couple was planning to return to Michigan to revisit Steve's Pizza.
Instead, Rich Morgan, who has a form of salivary gland cancer, went to the hospital, where he ended up in the intensive care unit. He was told he had days, maybe weeks, left to live.
Steve's Pizza was important to the Morgans for sentimental reasons.
"We were young and money was tight but every pay day, Rich would pick up Steve's Pizza for dinner," Julie Morgan said in a Facebook post
And so, this past Saturday evening, David Dalke, Julie Morgan's father, decided to give Steve's Pizza a call.
"I thought maybe just some contact from Steve's Pizza, maybe a note, I thought I might be asking too much, but I contacted them," Dalke said.
Dalke spoke to Dalton Shaffer, one of the managers.
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He didn't get a note.
He got a question about what kind of pizza Julie and Rich Morgan liked.
Steve's doesn't deliver, but Shaffer was about to make an exception.
"I reiterated to him, 'Dalton, we are in Indianapolis, and that's a 3½-hour drive one way.' and he said 'That's fine,'" Dalke said.
Shaffer, 18, is the nephew of Jeremy Shaffer, the owner of Steve's Pizza. He's been working there for about two years.
He said the decision to deliver the Morgans two 16-inch pizzas was an easy one.
"I just wanted to do that for them," he said. "I just wanted to make them happy."
So after closing the store at 10:15 p.m. that night, Shaffer hopped in his car with a pepperoni and a pepperoni and mushroom pizza and drove to Indianapolis.
At about 2:30 a.m., Dalke and the Morgans' children greeted Shaffer.
"It was almost like he was just making a delivery across town," Dalke said.
Dalke offered to put Shaffer up for the night, but Shaffer turned him down, saying he had to drive back because he worked later that day. Dalke offered to pay for the pizza and for gas, but Shaffer turned him down on that as well, eventually only "reluctantly" accepting some money that Dalke pushed into his hand before he left, Dalke said.
"I took a couple 5-hour Energys," Shaffer said. "I had to, I was super tired, but I made it and that's what counts. It was worth it. I'm glad I did that."
He said he thought it would be "a kept quiet kind of thing.
"I wasn't going to tell anyone about it," Shaffer said. "I didn't even tell my uncle or anything when I left for Indiana.
"I just hope people could keep that family in mind and pray for them," he added.
Julie and Rich Morgan didn't find out until the next morning when they woke up and were told about what Shaffer had done.
"The kids all came in and told us, and I cried and couldn't believe it," Julie Morgan said. "I was incredulous."
Two days later, she put it in a Facebook post.
"This is hard, because we're normally such private people," she added. "But it was such a great story, it just needed to be shared."
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Follow Natasha Blakely on Twitter: @blakelynat