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      Brownsville man succumbs to cancer

      Victor Portales didn't know he was ill until it was too late.

      In an interview we conducted with Victor and his wife Marta back in May, he had finally made it back to the valley to be closer to his family after learning he had colon cancer while working in Pensacola.

      It was a struggle to get back since he didn't have Medicaid coverage in Texas, but Valley Baptist Medical Center in Harlingen took him in.

      The couple of 33 years was well aware that Victor's days were numbered. He had a portion of his stomach and colon removed and was being fed through a tube just to sustain his already weak body.

      That didn't stop both of them from praying for more time together.

      During our visit with Victor, he showed strength at a time when the odds were clearly against him, sitting up in his hospital bed and even speaking to us on camera.

      But underneath his frail smile was a dark disease that was slowly ripping him away from the ones he loved.

      Ulcers had developed and he was beginning to bleed internally and although Martha wished he would pull through, this week, he took his last breathe.

      A family friend said he was already on a respirator and Martha was going to have to make the decision to take him off of it, but Victor left before she was forced to let him die...perhaps his last act of true love for his wife, a woman who stood by his side through health and sickness.