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      Former Weslaco Panther dies but not without a fight

      Armando "Mando" Del Toro

      Weslaco's Warrior has returned home, though not the way anyone would have liked.

      The body of 24-year-old Armando "Mando" Del Toro was flown into Harlingen Monday evening and transferred to a hearse from Guerra Funeral Home while loved ones watched on.

      Even knowing the odds were stacked against him, family and friends of Mando didn't expect this outcome especially since the young man with a heart of gold put on such a brave front.

      In the last interview he gave Action 4 News in July, Mando was thankful for all the support spiritually, emotionally and monetarily he had received from even strangers who had heard his story.

      His battle began in 2012 when he was 22-years-old.

      He was working at Home Depot, attending STC and planning to transfer to UTPA to pursue a kinesiology degree when he found out he had sarcoma and that it was eating its way through his leg.

      The former Weslaco Panthers football player didn't flinch at the thought and was eager to get the amputation over with to start living his life again.

      But cancer had its own plans and had spread to his lungs.

      Doctors never led Mando to believe anything other than the truth and even though they recommended he be put on hospice these last few weeks, he fought on giving treatment one more try, that is until last Wednesday when he finally said he was tired and wanted to go home.

      Mando took his last breath Saturday morning at MD Anderson with his family by his side.

      His wish to come home was granted and now family must prepare for his burial.

      We are all lucky to have been on this journey with him, and can take away a very important lesson, don't ever lose hope.