Andrew Dys

Neighbors show Rock Hill cancer patient that Santa, Christmas joy is real

Just when it seemed the joyous spirit of Christmas was going to show up only for other people, Santa showed up for the Quick family of Rock Hill. Dozens of elves came too.

Friday morning, a host of neighbors and friends walked toward the front door of Travis Quick, bearing gifts and money and singing Christmas carols.

It was fellowship and love come to life.

A person in the throng knocked on the door. Alisha Quick, whose husband Travis has cancer and is in a wheelchair, opened it wide. She saw dozens of faces. She heard their voices. The principal of her kids’ school. Teachers. Parents. Strangers. Little kids and grandparents.

“We wish you a merry Christmas and happy new year!” sang so many people who knew Travis and Alisha, and their kids Ava and Travis Jr. And so many more who didn’t. The group included friends of the kids from Richmond Drive Elementary School, and their parents.

People who had heard -- at Bible studies and churches in Chester and Rock Hill -- of this family’s courageous fight over the past three years. Members of the crowd held hands, stood together and sang.

Alisha Quick, through her tears, said: “There are still angels in the world. The spirit of Christmas is real. It came right to our front door.”

The couple’s children -- Ava is 10, Travis Jr. is 9 -- have grown up with many other Rock Hill kids and forged friendships that have lasted through elementary school. When word spread that their father was ill, many parents rallied to raise money and help the family get through the emotional and financial challenges of the illness.

Mary Parkman, whose child has been friends with the Quick children since kindergarten, has been at the fore of helping the family, but branches of assistance reached to Chester where Alisha is from originally, and even to strangers through social media.

“We just wanted to make sure that this family of wonderful people knew that they are loved,” Parkman said.

The gifts included many things for the kids, but also enough money to pay a vehicle note for three months.

“Every one of you, I thank you all,” said Alisha Quick as she gave out hug after hug.

Travis Quick, a fighter, had a moment where brain cancer was not the opponent, when he opened that door and saw love in the many faces. There were all these people who wanted to show that Santa Claus is real.

Christmas was right there, Travis Quick said, in the hearts of every person singing.

The gifts went under the Christmas Tree to be opened Christmas morning.

Travis Quick, 42, had lived a life of hard work until his illness. Friday he smiled his widest smile from his wheelchair in the front doorway.

“Opening that door I saw that my family is so big, and so loving, and so wonderful -- a family I didn’t even know I had,” Travis Quick said. “It is all just beautiful.”

Want to Help?

A fund for Travis Quick who is battling brain cancer has been set up at Family Trust Federal Credit Union. The greatest need is a special motorized recliner. To donate in the account listed under his wife, Alisha Quick, visit Family Trust branches on Dave Lyle Boulevard or Ebenezer Road.