POR Stories: A note from Krista Callaghan

Pants Off Racing met us when my husband was quite sick, and I was trying to hold it together with a 1 year-old and a 4-year-old. There was so much to keep going between my husband’s treatment, my two babies, and my job. And then there was Christmas. It was a lot.

At the time, my kids were ranging from learning-to-walk to learning-to-read. I could make it home every night from the hospital to do homework and make sure they knew I was there, but I was extremely stressed about how to deliver a happy Christmas or have the festive spirit that you need for those early memories during a time they needed it most. My husband was in the final stages of pancreatic cancer, and POR managed to put a huge bright spot in a dark time, and I think my kids were able to feel a little of the childhood magic. POR made the time to figure out what each kid might like and to care about those preferences and to deliver in a very dramatic, every-kid-dreams-about-waking-up-to-this kind of way. It may seem material, but my kids were dealing with adult themes way above their pay grade, and I was–and still am–that they got to feel like kids during the holidays.

My husband had a very aggressive of PC, and after he passed, POR didn’t give up on us. I’m lucky to have a background and job where I can support my kids, but I have to focus on work in order to make sure we are all okay, and POR always offered babysitting. I also needed to move to a more affordable place and decided on Austin, Texas. POR stalked me in the best ways to find out how they could help. They were actually there the three days prior to moving to Austin so they could just help with my kids and sometimes took them places so I could pack. I was a newly single mom trying to figure out a lot of new things–like how to find time to pack and move–and POR made it manageable. But I would say, equally importantly, they also stayed with my daughters and me and check in on us regularly.

I know we aren’t ever totally alone. Nancy Amato passed on something deep. I felt it in her rum cakes;) but I also felt it the second I met her kids, and the organization that honors her. They have been there in the small moments when I could have been simply overwhelmed and have helped the three of us stay empowered and positive. My kids get excited when we are going to hang with them, and I’m choosing to not mention the endless slushy cups they get from them;) but these folks help when people need it the most, and then they never leave you alone! It’s great.