Dr. Botts diagnosed cancer-free

After fighting lung cancer since the end of last school year, Maize High principal returns to the new year cancer-free

Ainsley Cramer, Reporter

Dr. Chris Botts returned to Maize High School this year cancer-free. Assistant principal Sonya Tice said she is glad to have him back. “It is amazing to have him back in the building,” Tice said. “It’s like he was never gone. I love working with Dr. Botts and I am so happy to have him back.” (Photo by Leah Brown)

Back in March, Maize High principal, Dr. Chris Botts, was diagnosed with Large Cell Neuroendocrine Carcinoma, a form of lung cancer.                              

Botts spent six weeks at MD Anderson in Houston, Texas at the end of the school year, where he went through radiation and chemotherapy. 

Recently, Botts was diagnosed as cancer-free.

“It was kind of surreal,” Botts said. “I mean, I had a lot of trust and faith that that’s what was going to happen, but it was just a relief that this chapter maybe is closed, and it was a good feeling.”

Botts said his biggest supporters through it all were his family, especially his wife, who drove him to and from every appointment, an hour and a half each way. 

Botts also said he appreciated the support from the Maize community. 

“Community-wise, Maize has been unbelievable,” Botts said.  “For me and the family with money, but more than that, just the text messages, the cards, the food, those types of things made every day like I’ve got an army of people behind me who are supporting me, and that felt really good.” 

Botts also said his coworkers here at Maize High made being away easier for him. 

“Missing work is never easy,” Botts said. “But knowing that they had my back, they had everything under control was very comforting.”

Sonya Tice, assistant principal at Maize High said she was worried when she heard about Botts being gone. 

It didn’t take long to realize how amazing our students and staff are, and they all came together to make term four as good as it could have been,” Tice said.  “I was nervous I would let down Dr. Botts, but everyone was extremely supportive and we made it through.”

Tice recalls when she first heard about Botts being cancer-free. 

“Tears were my first reaction when he said cancer-free,” Tice said. “Mrs. Marsh (Maize High assistant principal) came in and asked if I had gotten the text yet; I wasn’t sure what to think by the look on her face. I was extremely nervous to look at my phone. Once I did, she and I both started crying.”