Neighbors decorate home of NC man fighting cancer

CONCORD, N.C. (WBTV) – The leaves have yet to turn, but that’s not stopping the Christmas lights from going up on Bill Schmidt’s Concord home.

“It’s been a tradition since we’ve been in the house,” Schmidt said.

It may seem a bit early, but for Schmidt, time is everything.

“I don’t know what day it will be. It might be six months, it might be a year, it might be two days from next week. You just don’t know,” Schmidt said.

Schmidt was diagnosed with stage four liver cancer in June.

Marlene Larue, Bill’s wife, says it’s a difficult reality to face.

“It’s hard to be happy and celebrate the holidays when this kinda thing is going on,” Larue said.

Every Christmas, their house is the one that would shine the brightest. This year won’t be any different thanks to Howard Tiller and other neighbors.

“We consider them the Griswold family of the neighborhood. When I heard that he might not have a lot of time, I figured, why not have Christmas now?” Tiller said.

“It was our neighbors who came to me and said yep, we’re going to do Christmas. We’re going to do it in October,” Larue said.

Just because Bill can’t climb the ladder, doesn’t mean he’s not still calling the shots, making sure each bulb is perfectly placed.

“You just have to take some time and love thy neighbor,” Tiller said.

Thanks to his neighbors, Schmidt is living life to the fullest, even if it not on everyone else’s schedule.

“You get up every day, smile, thank God you had another one and keep going forward,” Schmidt said.

The display isn’t complete just yet, but neighbors expect to flip the switch next week.

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