WHITTIER, Calif. (KABC) --Suffering from two strokes after undergoing surgery for brain cancer, family and friends in Whittier rallied behind beloved elementary school teacher Sergio Perez in his time of need.
The father of two girls was diagnosed with stage four brain cancer over the summer, and Taline Perez, his wife of 12 years, stood by his side at every moment.
She held back tears when sharing the things she loved most about the man who knew he wanted to marry her on their first date.
"He's very generous with a big, big heart," Taline Perez said.
Support for the family has poured in through mail and online donations.
"Every day there is an envelope in the mail. He opens it and just says 'wow,'" his wife shared.
One wall in their home is covered with cards from former students and another is full of encouraging Bible scriptures.
Beside them are lists of simple things that the family is grateful for, including arms, memory and good neighbors.
"Cancer is not going to destroy us," Taline Perez said. "That hardship in life is not going to pull us away from God. We enjoy as much time as we have."
With home care costing about $12,000 a month, many want to help.
"I have a ministry called Families Helping Families and I was just led by the Holy Spirit to reach out," a friend of the family, Barbara Haney said.
Haney has organized a fundraiser and encourages people to donate. Taline Perez said she hopes to continue making memories with her husband and their two girls.
A YouCaring page was set up to help with family expenses.