Former Weslaco Panthers football player in a fight for his life
Fri, 12 Oct 2012 23:44:28 GMT —
Armando Del Toro has been an athlete since he can remember and even after his glory days were over with the Weslaco High School Panthers, he continued playing with friends at local parks, that is until, "I jumped in the air to catch the ball and I landed on my one leg and it cracked," says Del Toro.
Armando broke his hip and when doctors got in there to repair it, they found a tumor growing on his bone eating away at his femur.
He had no idea that was happening to his body then months later, he could barely walk and went back to the hospital.
"They told me I had cancer."
Soft tissue sarcoma to be exact and it's taken a toll quickly over the last few months.
"I've been through 4 rounds of chemo and I'm just waiting for the surgery."
The doctor says the leg with cancer needs to be amputated.
The 23 year old accepted the fact that he would have to put his dreams of being coach on hold because of it, but he was ready to have the procedure done Thursday and then he hit a major roadblock.
"We were about to leave to Austin, but we got a phone call saying the insurance won't cover it saying we can't do the surgery," says Del Toro.
It will cost Armando nearly $20,000 to get his leg amputated, but with no way to hold a job or continue with school he's unable to qualify for proper insurance.
So he sits and waits.
"It's tough. I'm not gonna lie, being alone all day, it's tough."
Armando was more than 170 pounds when he played football for the Panthers, now he weighs 114 and is unrecognizable to many but not his former teammates who visit him.
The new class is also showing their support.
"It means that Panther brotherhood does really mean something"
His family started a Facebook page to gather donations for Armando and in just a few days there are nearly 6,000 likes and $800 raised to help his cause.
"I'm just hoping my family and whoever can help out will donate. I'm waiting for the surgery to get done."
Through the pain Armando has a lot of faith that he will rid of his cancer.
When he does he can finally get back to school, family, friends and a future he won't let slip away.
"Right now the pain just started coming back and it hurts to get up and do anything, but I do it anyway. I will take the pain to go out and hang out with my friends."
As for coaching at Weslaco High School one day Armando says, hopefully if it's available."
You can donate to Mando TMs Cause on his facebook page.