Chris Castellow has terminal colon cancer and he says life has never been better.
"I used to race around working until midnight in the mortgage business," Castellow said. "I don't do that anymore."
Castellow has advice for anyone listening, slow down and pay attention to the things and people that matter. For him that's his wife Niki and three children.
"Now I stop and smell the roses and I'm amazed how many I missed when I was just racing by," Castellow said.
The Little Elm native is determined to beat his cancer which has spread to his liver and lungs. During his battle his wife Niki is by his side. Castellow says she's nursed him back to health during his darkest times.
"Chemo will suck the life out of you," Castellow said.
But recently Niki needed help too. The Little Elm school teacher was in a head on car crash and was ejected from the car she was in. By all accounts she should have died.
"I really believe God guided to and allowed me to survive," Castellow said.
Parts of her body are shattered and doctors say she won't be able to go to work for three months. Niki says she was already out of sick leave after having to take off to care for Chris. She immediately started to worry about how her family would pay the bills as she's become the primary bread winner since her husband got sick.
"Life doesn't stop when tragedies happen. It keeps going," Castellow said.
So district leaders at Little Elm rallied around their own. This week they sent out a form, allowing any staff member to donate their sick days to Niki so she can keep her paycheck and her insurance.
"I've only been there two years and this kind of support. You don't expect it and there really are no words," Castellow said.
District leaders say they consider their staff a family. Superintendent Lowell Strike says he was notified about Niki's accident by a friend and immediately called human resources to find a way to support one of their own.
"We say we're a family here and we really mean it," Lowell said.
The Castellows say another thing these difficult times have taught them is how many people want to help. Dinners are delivered many nights and friends stop by just to say hello. Others have started fundraising accounts to help the family during difficult times.
If you'd like to help you can click on the links below.
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