Curtis Shewell – RESILIENT A.F.: Stories of Resilience


When my oldest daughter was diagnosed with cancer involving multiple tumors in her brain, our lives turned upside down literally in a day.

After resigning from my job to try to find a miracle cure for her, we no longer had income, which caused a lot of financial issues, and I still had four other children that I had to take care of, including one in college. We had to fight relentlessly to keep things on track at home for the other children and try to figure out how to keep a roof over our heads.

In the face of my daughter’s aggressive cancer diagnosis, a flood of emotions rushed in: fear, sorrow, the weight of an uncertain future, the feeling of helplessness, the mental state of knowing you can’t protect your child from what’s happening. When you only have one job, protect and care for them. All these emotions help you look deep within yourself to figure out how to stay resilient, focused, and positive in the face of the worst adversity you can imagine.

Navigating through the three-year journey, I found strength in Stephanie’s astounding resilience within herself and the infectious joy she provided everyone, transforming that pain into a catalyst for personal growth. When I resigned from my job, which required me to travel out of state regularly, I didn’t think twice about making that decision even though it would put us in a very difficult spot financially. Yes, the bills stacked up. Yes, we became quickly behind and faced the potential loss of our home, cars, and everything we deemed normal. The financial struggles are real, but they become secondary to the task at hand.

Never giving up hope, never taking our eye off what the challenges were after repeated surgeries, watching this beautiful eight-year-old fight through each of these battles on her own became a pivotal moment. This is when I learned to stop and smell the roses. I realized the biggest doors swing on the smallest hinges and see the light in the darkest moments.

There was a knock at the door, and these two gentlemen were standing there, declaring they were from a local charity and they were trying to figure out a way to help us. The charities are terrific, and usually, the best they can do is provide some sort of financial assistance. After sitting with them for over an hour, going through the stacks of bills and everything financially overwhelming, they asked if they could pay a few of the bills. We all joked, looking at the daunting task of seeing where progress could barely be made at this point.

At the end of the day, we all agreed that no matter which bill or two they could assist with, nothing would change the inevitable. What I really needed was a miracle job. I was not above a handout, but it would not change anything. They asked me what a miracle job looked like, and I explained to them I knew how to sell. It didn’t matter the product; I knew I could sell anything, but I needed a job that would allow me to be paid commissions, have an extremely flexible schedule, and be able to leave at a phone calls notice to go to Children’s Hospital or Saint Jude, or several other facilities that we had been engaged with. I told them that while I was gone, someone needed to work and close my deals, pay me, and welcome me with open arms whenever I returned. I told them if they could find me a miracle job, I would be indebted to them for life.

The next day, one of the gentlemen called me and asked me if I could take a phone call. I said yes, and a moment later, his son called me. His son was the Vice President of Sales for one of the largest builders in the country. We happened to live in one of the homes that they built. After speaking with him for a minute or two, he said he would like me to work for him. I told him I wasn’t very good with a hammer, so what did he have in mind? He laughed and said I want you to come and sell homes for me. You live in one of our homes; you’ve experienced our process, and we would like you to represent us in selling the same home you live in in our new subdivision.

I started the next day. He set up compensation for me to be paid for selling homes while giving me all the flexibility, freedom, and ability to prioritize my family without compromising.

It’s been 16 years since Stephanie went to heaven, yet my miracle job remains. I now have the ability to help so many families and agents across the country. I run one of the largest teams in Michigan. I mentor, train, and coach over 3400 agents within our brokerage at eXp Realty. My miracle job allowed me to help people in ways I never thought possible.

I practiced resilience by embracing empathy, prioritizing others over myself, adapting to challenges, and having faith in the future. My family and I continued to push forward no matter what was thrown at us, which led me to my miracle job, which changed my life and allowed me to change other lives daily.

Are you ready to share your story of RESILIENCE? You can do that HERE.