Not a day went by that Chris Gattis wasn’t wearing a pair of fun, wacky, colorful socks! It was his socks that often raised his spirits and reminded him he wasn’t in his fight of battling prostate cancer alone. Christopher Greene Gattis died of this deadly disease on July 25, 2016, but his legacy remains. During the last years of his life, while battling cancer nearly five years himself, Chris became an avid promoter of the fight to cure cancer and make it a disease of the past. Chris devoted many volunteer hours to the American Cancer Societies of Huntsville, Atlanta, and the Mid-South Division of Birmingham, serving tirelessly on various boards. He was a volunteer “Hero of Hope” speaker as well. Chris posthumously received the Gerald Tucker Volunteer of the Year award by the Huntsville chapter of the American Cancer Society at their annual gala August 20, 2016.
The Sockinit2Cancer Foundation is being formed in Chris’ honor because he never lost hope. Chris approached each day of his treatment with poise and grace, a faithful witness and an unwavering attitude to beat his disease. Chris’ day-in- day-out struggles with his sickness are what led his family to create a Sockinit2cancer social media campaign. “We thought he just needed a little pick-me- up on the tough days”, said his nephew Conor, who along with his wife came up with the idea to treat Chris to some fun with the Sockinit2Cancer drive. The gist of the Facebook page was to invite others along on his journey by providing support and prayer through social media posts of their socks for the day. He literally received hundreds of pairs of socks and daily messages over the last months of his life from cherished well-wishers, some he knew, and others that just wanted to show they cared. Chris got in the game as well, always posting pictures of his socks on treatment days. As we remember Chris, let’s remember his love of life. Let’s remember the thousands of prostate cancer patients who remain. Let’s continue Sockinit2Cancer by increasing awareness of the importance of annual prostate exams. Better yet, let’s keep Sockinit2Cancer and find a cure by promoting research to end prostate cancer.
Chris personified a faithful witness throughout his illness. He was a face of grace and a ceaseless and humble servant of God.
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
2 Cornithians 12:9