Longtime Boys & Girls Club leader diagnosed with brain tumor

Mary Flores

Over the last 4 decades, Mary Flores has worked in the background to help secure millions of dollars for various Boys & Girls Clubs of the Rio Grande Valley.

Tens of thousands of kids have received service thanks to her fight for funding.

Mary rose through the ranks to become executive director of the Boys & Girls Club of Edinburg, received national recognition for her dedication and even came out of retirement to take over the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Madre

But her fight has had to change recently after a brain tumor was discovered.

Arturo Del Barrio wants to Pay it 4Ward.

He surprised her at the Edinburg club in front of about a dozen colleagues, family and friends.

"I've known you since I was 11-years-old," he told her. "When I became a director you were always there for me. When I've seen what you've been going through... and I know there's been a fundraiser for you... I thought about Ryan's [program]. I know that going to see you costs a lot of money. It costs a lot of money to go to San Antonio, Austin and Houston and I just thought it was the perfect way to Pay it 4Ward."

Karen Gonzalez with FNB Insurance Agency provides cash as the Pay it 4Ward prize.

"It's been a pleasure to hear about what you've done for the community and for the children of the Rio Grande Valley," she said. "We want to be able to help you in any way that we can. So on behalf of FNB Insurance and Action 4 News we want to give you $400."

Mary clutches the $400 in her hands and smiles.

"It's an honor to receive this from the community," she said. "I'm just overwhelmed and I just thank you. It's unbelievable."

It's not easy for Mary to admit she needs the help, but with chemotherapy on the horizon at MD Anderson in Houston, she knows work has to take a back seat to her health.

"When something like this occurs in your life, your whole life changes," Mary said. "What once seemed to be important in the past is just not important anymore."

Mary is given hugs from everyone in the room.

It's clear from their reaction that the community Mary's given her life to will be right there by her side.

"Pay it 4Ward!" Mary said.

An account has been setup at First National Bank to help Mary with expenses.

Anyone who like to take action and donate can do so at any branch under account #0221040625

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