NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - For East Texas natives Chris and Susan Rodgers, their story began with love at first sight. After just one dance, Chris knew he wasn't letting Susan out of his life.
"I just kind of hollered across the parking lot, are you going to leave without saying goodbye?" said Rodgers. "She just walked up to me and gave me a big ol' kiss."
Many years of marriage and four kids later, the Rodgers family received news that their father was losing his battle against cancer and he had seven months left to live.
"It's like the earth stood still, and went silent, and all i heard was seven months echoing," said Rodgers.
With time in mind, the entire Rodgers family banded together to make the last seven months the best seven months.
"We've talked about it for a lot of years but now we're experiencing it, we're walking in it, but we're no different than anybody else," said wife Susan Rodgers.
To the Rodgers family, Chris is "dad". To the East Texas community, he serves as a local Christian pastor.
Monday evening, thousand's of people will gathered to hear the importance of facing battles head on at Finish Strong SFA.
Son and coordinator of Finish Strong SFA JD Rodgers, says he is overwhelmed by the support he received during such a difficult time for his family.
"Everyone has their own adversity," says son JD Rodgers. "Ours is this trial, ours is cancer, ours is death. "
Susan says she is taking the next seven months day-by-day and is encouraging her entire family to stay strong in faith and love, while her husband comes to the end of his life.
Remaining optimistic, Chris has one lasting message to tell.
"If I could get them to get one thing tonight is that Jesus Christ is our only hope," said Rodgers. "There is no other hope."