Nothing in life is guaranteed; not even life itself.
That’s a lesson that Harry Kimbrough learned 16 years ago and he’s never forgotten it. He never will.
Kimbrough is something of a legend in Gillette, Wyoming. Gillette is a relatively small town and Harry has the type of personality that just reverberates across the city. Everybody knows Harry. Everybody loves Harry. And a lot of people have bought and sold houses through Harry.
Harry Kimbrough is a real estate agent with RE/MAX Professionals. You know how when you meet somebody and they tell you what they do for a living and you think to yourself, “Oh, yes. That fits.” That’s what it’s like talking to Harry Kimbrough. He’s a natural salesman in all the ways one can be. He’s outgoing. He’s gregarious. He makes you feel like you’re the most important person in the world and, when you’re talking to Harry, maybe that’s true.
Real estate wasn’t Harry’s first job — but it is his favorite.
“Back when I first moved to Wyoming, I worked on the railroad,” Harry shared. “I did that for 13 years and in year 12, I got engaged. And so I wanted to find a different career and lifestyle to where I could be home more. So I got my real estate license here. I didn’t know a thing about real estate, but I did it anyway. I worked at Century 21 for about six months, and then Boardwalk Real Estate for about eight years. I was their number-one salesman, trainer and sales manager.”
The job just fit, like a glove. Some people are just born for the jobs that they perform, and that’s how it is for Harry Kimbrough. In fact, he was so good at his job that RE/MAX Professionals were scouting him almost immediately.
“RE/MAX had been after me about three or four times to come work for them, and I decided I’d have more opportunity there,” Harry said. “So I made the move to RE/MAX and within a couple of years, I became the number-one RE/MAX agent in the state for four years in a row.”
That was in 2001. So for more than 20 years, Harry Kimbrough has been a household name in the world of, well, houses. In those 20 years, he has learned a lot. He has taught a lot. He’s damn sure sold a lot. He’s helped a lot of people find their forever homes. Because that’s what it is for Harry — with his clients, he’s not just trying to make money. They’re not a number to him. He sees these people for who they are — they’re his neighbors. They’re his friends. They’re human beings who are on the hunt for their forever homes and Harry considers it an honor to play a part in bringing those people home.
“Oftentimes, people will go someplace and they’re not treated with the respect they deserve, or they’re just treated like a number,” Harry said. “Real estate is a much more personal business, because you’re dealing with people’s futures and emotions. When I work with people, their desired outcome becomes my priority because you’re dealing with their emotions, but you’re also trying to help them better their lifestyle, either by buying a home or an investment property, or selling a home or investment property. You’re helping them move on to the next adventure in their life. And when you deal with people’s lives like that, you need to take it very seriously because it has a tremendous impact on their future.”
For more than 20 years, Harry Kimbrough has taken his job very seriously. But in 2007, something serious happened to him. And it was almost all over.
“On May 2, 2007, I was diagnosed with stage-four esophageal cancer,” he said.
And that’s when everything changed.
What does it do to somebody when they get news like that? How do people react? Do they cry? Are they scared? Are they angry? For Harry Kimbrough, it was all of that and more.
“The cancer was at the base of my tongue,” he shared. “It had rubbed a hole in an artery or a vein, and it wouldn’t quit bleeding. So they did an emergency tracheotomy on me. Then they packed my throat and life flighted me to Salt Lake City. When I got there, I was supposed to have surgery to sew it up, but between Gillette and Salt Lake, it clotted. And they never ended up doing any surgery, but they ran their tests on me and determined that I was stage four. And they wanted me to start treatment there, right away.”
So, he did. This was a scary time for Harry, but he wasn’t going to give up. As any client of Harry’s knows, he is a very determined man. He’s determined enough to ensure that his clients get a good deal on their home or business, so imagine how determined he is when his life is on the line. Harry wasn’t going to quit. He was going to fight — however uphill that battle may have been.
“It turned my life upside down,” Harry stated. “It ruined my business. I’d been the number-one RE/MAX agent in the state for years, but then I had to start all over again.”
Harry, naturally, took some time off from the job so that he could handle his health matters. It’s hard to sell a house when you can barely move.
“Pretty shortly after I was diagnosed, I started doing radiation and chemotherapy,” he stated. “I got nuked every morning except Tuesdays. They did radiation Monday through Friday and on Tuesdays I had my chemo. I went from 240 pounds to 164 pounds in 11 weeks.”
It was the hardest thing Harry had ever dealt with. It was scary. It was depressing. It was disheartening. But he would. not. quit. He wouldn’t give up. He fought like his life depended on it, because it did.
And eventually, he won. The radiation and the chemotherapy treatment worked, and Harry was declared to be in remission. Not too long after, he set about rebuilding his career.
“When I was sick, I wasn’t able to go out and generate new business like I had been doing prior to that,” he shared. “I was too weak to come to work, plus they had me on hydrocodone for 11 weeks. Every day was great, but you don’t know what you did five minutes ago.”
So once his health was finally cleared, Harry knew it was time to get back to work. It was time to remind everybody just who he was. More importantly, it was time to remind himself just who he was.
“Once I got done with treatments, I had to start rebuilding my body and my mind from all the negativity,” Harry shared. “I was so emaciated, it wasn’t even funny. I started working out, doing cardio and going to the sauna. Because it was just poison, you know? So I started working out, using the stationary bicycle. At first, I could only do 10 minutes at a time before I was tired, but eventually I got back to where I wanted to be.”
Just as important, or maybe even more important than reshaping his body, Harry set out to reshape his mind.
“I went back to reading,” he said. “I started digging back into a bunch of books that I had read before to help get my head back on straight. I was doing affirmations and goal setting; things like that. And then, I just went back to doing business one day at a time. Because if you devote all your time to what’s happened to you instead of focusing on your future, you’re always going to be depressed. And that’s no way to live.”
So, that’s what Harry did. He lived, and worked, one day at a time. He had been in remission for quite some time, but recently was diagnosed with another form of cancer — this time, it was skin cancer.
“In March, I saw that I had a sore on my right cheek, so I went and got it looked at with the skin doctor here in Gillette,” he said. “They took a biopsy and determined that it needed to be taken out.”
Harry had a couple surgeries to remove it, but the doctors still didn’t get all of it. So he once again underwent radiation treatment. And once again, it worked. As of May 2023, the cancer was gone and he was in remission once more.
It’s been a rollercoaster, to be sure. But through it all, Harry Kimbrough kept his faith — in his doctors, in his colleagues, and in himself. He’s also kept his faith in what he does for other people. For Harry, this was never just a job. It was a chance to give back to his community. It was a chance to meet people, help people and bring people home.
Harry likes helping people. When he’s not working, he’s volunteering his time, his resources and his energy to help a myriad of local organizations. He does this because in spite of all that has happened to him, he realizes that he still has much to be thankful for.
“Living in Gillette has provided me with a unique opportunity and I’ve decided to start giving back in a more meaningful way,” Harry shared. “I’ve adopted the Gillette Abuse Refuge Foundation (G.A.R.F.) as my worthy cause for my business and now with the help of our community we will be making a big difference in other people’s lives. With every local referral we receive a portion of our profits will go to help them in their business of helping those in need who can really use a hand up! I’m on a mission to raise $10,000.00 or more for them.”
Harry recognizes the power of a hand being offered to somebody who needs help, and when he’s in a position to do it himself, he does not hesitate.
Harry Kimbrough has learned a lot throughout his health battle. He’s learned that nothing is guaranteed (except his own guarantee that he will sell your house at a price acceptable to you, or he’ll buy it for cash!). He has learned to take each day as it comes. He’s learned that mental health is just as important as physical health. He has learned that home truly is where the heart is — it’s a safe place, a sanctuary. That’s why helping people find their home is so important to him.
He learned something else, too, and it’s something that he has applied to every aspect of his career and his life.
“Napoleon Hill said this and it’s something I reflect on often,” Harry shared. “Cherish your visions and your dreams as they are the children of your soul, the blueprints of your ultimate achievements.”
Visit www.GilletteHomes.com and discover all Harry’s Exclusive Services for Buyers and Sellers.
PAID FOR BY HARRY KIMBROUGH, RE/MAX, THE PROFESSIONALS
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