So let us introduce you to Juan, Magen and Mason as they experience the Panhandle Spirit first hand and how you can help in this worthwhile endeavor.
It may look like just another ordinary day in the Gallegos household...watching a little TV, playing with some toys, and taking it easy. But beneath this ordinary exterior lies some extraordinary circumstances. In this case, the Gallegos' are not at home. They're at a house designed to help out families in need of residence during medical visits. More on that in a moment.
Just a couple months ago, Juan and his son Mason were at a car show and he noticed a pain in his side.
"We take him every year, every year since he was born, make it a family tradition and I thought I picked him up wrong to show him a car and got a bad chest pain. Went through the weekend and went to work and said, 'No Dice' and then on Tuesday, I told Magen and it went down from there," Juan said.
So I asked his son Mason, "If you were to tell a schoolmate or a friend of yours about your dad, what would you say or how would you describe your dad?"
"Daddy's is sick," replied Mason, forcing a little smile.
Juan was diagnosed with metastatic cancer, a very aggressive disease, but through it all Juan's foundation has remained steadfast.
"So, my God is good and I am blessed. God has this planned for us and you just have to go with it, each and everyone of us. I have good family support and my church is good. I go to the Rock Church and I have a really good family there," he said.
The cancer was discovered just about the time he started renovating their house, and every one that knows this family, agreed that these are very deserving people that could use a hand up in their time of need.. So Juan's project was formed to help take care of Juan's projects.
"It's the Panhandle Spirit, right there like you always say. People out of the ordinary, true and close friends, and they're picking up my slack and I appreciate each and every one of them."
His wife Magen says this is so incredibly tough on their family, but it's through their religion and the kindness of friends and strangers that gets them by, one day at a time.
"He's been really good through it. he says he is blessed and it helps me keep going and kept us strong through it. I do have my breaking points, but you know...we take it day by day." according to Magen.
For the next month, they're going to live at the League house near the hospitals. As we mentioned earlier, It's a non-profit organization that houses people in medical need at a greatly reduced rate. While most of the residents are from out of town, they especially wanted to help out with a local family, according to executive director, Amber Glawe.
"We help so many coming to Amarillo from the area to the medical facilities here in Amarillo and not many from here in Amarillo and we definitely wanted to help them out and show them we can be a part of Juan's Project," said Amber.
And this is where you come in. Our Daybreak crew is going to spend the entire month of May volunteering and documenting the renovations-- following the work crews along Juan, Megan and Mason ---and see firsthand what the true Panhandle Spirit is all about in each of us. If you want to help out with prayers, monetary donations or maybe even with the renovations, every gesture will be greatly appreciated.
"To each and every person who goes out and sacrifices their time doing my stuff, I appreciate that," echoed Juan.
"I think they're getting more out of this than you are," I said.
"They probably are, they probably are. " laughed Juan, fighting back the tears. "They're a great bunch of people."
And that my friends, is the true Spirit of the Panhandle.