BIG SANDY (KYTX) - An East Texas city councilman is focusing on more than the state of the city. He's helping the people inside his town who are hurting.
Big Sandy City Councilman Lupe Gonzalez has always been a clean-cut guy. But in January, his hair and beard started getting longer and longer.
"Several people thought it was the silliest thing they ever heard," said Lupe Gonzalez.
He grew his hair with the purpose of shaving it off.
He asked people in the small town of Big Sandy for money, if they wanted to see that happen.
"Several people donated a lot of money," added Gonzalez.
The money wasn't for him.
It was for his friend of more than 20 years, Carl Akins.
"I've always loved Lupe like a son, but he's not quite young enough to be a son...so I'll say a brother," laughed Carl Akins.
Carl was diagnosed with stage 4 Colorectal Cancer April 6th, 2012.
He immediately underwent many costly treatments and surgeries to stop the cancer from spreading.
"Nobody wants to see their loved ones go through the pain that cancer causes, that, probably from the first week of diagnosis has been my major concern," said Akins.
Lupe used what was on top of his head to help with the mounting medical bills.
"Jesus himself said that we are to help one another," said Gonzalez.
If people couldn't make donations, he simply asked them to pray.
"Because God is ultimately going to say whether Carl gets better or not," added Gonzalez.
More than a year later after Carl's diagnosis, the cancer appears to be gone.
"For the present time, we're going to live each day like we're free of it," said Akins.
With the help of a $2,071.31 donation, he's able to pay a portion of his medical bills, thanks to his brother.
"My brother's keeper is to show that everyone is your brother, regardless of color or race," said Gonzalez.
My Brother's Keeper and information on helping Della Worden
Lupe Gonzalez's facebook page