GARLAND, Texas — At the far end of Easy Street in Garland is a kid who's had it pretty hard.
“I don’t like to focus on the challenges with my health because they don’t get to stop me from living my life,” said 21-year-old Caleb Wood.
When he was eight, doctors found a tumor on Wood’s brain. They cut it out, but eventually two tumors returned. A surgery later resulted in strokes.
Doctors said there’s nothing more they can do.
“My life is in God’s hands, and I honestly can’t think of a better place for it to be,” Wood said.
That kind of faith is what drives Wood. A member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Wood began serving a mission in North Texas a couple of years ago.
He spends a lot of his time volunteering at Trusted World in Garland.
“It just brings a little joy into my heart each and every time I come here,” Wood said.
Trusted World is a non-profit that provides clothing, food and other essentials to people and organizations who serve those in need.
Wood volunteers at Trusted World a few times a week and wishes he could do more.
He’s limited, of course, not by his illness but by his audience.
Wood believes everyone should volunteer, especially at Trusted World, and said a news story is a great place to recruit.
That’s why he insisted that this story not be about his condition.
“Right,” he said. “I would really like to focus on getting people here to Trusted World.”
He may have brain tumors but dying is the last thing on his mind.
“He can see the rainbows when it’s the gloomiest sky above,” said Wood’s mom, Andi Wood. “And he gives that rainbow and that light to everybody he comes in contact with.”
He really is a ray of light.
But Wood admits, at times, he feels a bit selfish.
“I get far more out of helping others than I can possibly give to someone else,” he said.
Oblivious to his own good deeds, it’s no wonder Wood was caught completely off-guard when D Magazine named him North Texas’ volunteer of the year.
Of course, during his acceptance speech, he took the opportunity to recruit volunteers.
“Go volunteer man,” he said, as smiles and laughter broke out among the crowd.
There’s no telling how many people Wood has inspired or how many he will.
“I think that’s why he’s still here,” Andi Wood said. “I think he still has people to touch and to bless.”
“I get to sacrifice my time to be someone’s earthly angel,” said Caleb. “It is the greatest feeling in the world.”
It’s proof that in order to truly live, just give.