A brain tumor is no match for one Houston-area restaurant owner determined to fight not his, but his employee's diagnosis. And he'll start by putting his place up for sale.
Michael DeBeyer, owner of Kaiserhof Restaurant, and 19-year-old server Brittany Mathis have not known each other for very long.
Mathis has been a server for a little more than a year. She is now the one being waited on. It is a little overwhelming for her, but nonetheless, she is grateful.
When life hands you lemons, make lemonade. You could say, Mathis is doing just that and is determined to work, despite a tumor on the left side of her brain.
"I had this rash on the back of my legs and on my hands and I got a sore throat and stuff and I went to the hospital cause I felt like my throat was closing," said Mathis. That was the beginning of her diagnosis.
It was not until a CAT-scan showed the real cause of her headaches and exhaustion.
Meanwhile for DeBeyer, it was business as usual at Kaiserhof, his European restaurant in Montgomery County.
"We've been here 17 years," said DeBeyer. He welcomed Mathis in 2013 after she was recruited by her mother Barbara who also works in the restaurant.
"No, I don't know them that long," said DeBeyer. He considers all of his employees as friends.
But something changed when he visited Mathis in the hospital.
"I told her I would put up for restaurant for sale," said DeBeyer.
Without DeBeyer's generous offer, Mathis would otherwise have to pay up front for treatment.
Mathis has no health insurance, so when DeBeyer saw her mother picking up double shifts, he decided it was time to sell. Not just for Mathis, but for his daughters Zoey and Skylar.
"So we took the kids to the movies and on the way there in the car, the 8-year-old, Zoey, she said, 'Oh wow, daddy! This is the best vacation we ever had and then I knew it's time to change my lifestyle," said DeBeyer.
A change that was only just a thought until...
"I really appreciate it and that I love him and that I'll always be thankful for what he did," said Mathis. She still has to go for more testing to find out if the tumor is cancerous, but for now, she's working when she feels well enough to go in. And she has also been taking calls from around the world about this.
DeBeyer told FOX 26 News that Oprah Winfrey, Rachael Ray and Ellen DeGeneres are requesting that he appear on their networks or programs.
It has definitely received national attention.