Fresh Mex and Lettuce Eat in Rome will be closing their doors for good this week. Owner Chip Travis made the difficult decision after realizing his health and his family are the most important things in life.

Travis was diagnosed with lung cancer, for a second time, two months after opening Fresh Mex in July 2012. Despite surgery, doctors discovered the cancer was still there three months later and another surgery was required. Travis went through two bouts of cancer in seven months, yet continued to work or keeping the doors to his new business open.

Chip Travis
Chip Travis

A recent CT scan revealed more spots on Travis' lungs. "This scare opened my eyes to what exactly life is about," Travis posted on Facebook. A biopsy showed the spots weren't cancer but they needed to be closely monitored. It also showed Travis that life is about more than working. "I am not living. I simply exist. Working six and seven days per week does not leave me much time for myself or my family. I am going to focus on my family, health and my personal enjoyment of LIFE."

Travis will close Fresh Mex and Lettuce Eat that he opened in January 2014, on Friday March 20th. "Owning a business is very rewarding yet very time consuming, which is why this is bittersweet and the hardest decision of my life."

Jason Siderline calls Travis a friend and says despite his illness, he always had a smile. "You would never know when he was down or upset. He was the guy who had no problem letting kids climb on him like a jungle gym. He loves two boys but his family stretches beyond the four walls of his house. The Rome community and sports programs are his family too. He's the "Norm" of Rome."

Travis says he'll miss him employees who made it possible to keep the doors open while he battled his health, and his customers who became friends. "I don’t know what the next chapter of my life will hold, but I owe it to my family and myself to take charge of my life. "

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