Mother of cancer-stricken cop gets money to visit him in Houston

Pete Perez is fighting a rare bone cancer at MD Anderson in Houston.

It's in the hallway of Retama Manor Nursing Home in Weslaco where Pat Perez thinks Action 4's Ryan Wolf just stumbled upon her.

"We are just doing a story about the place," Ryan told her. "How is it to work here?"

"It's nice to work here," she responded.

The nurse has no idea she's actually been nominated for the Pay it 4Ward prize.

"I have a little surprise for you," Ryan said. "What?" she asked.

"This has nothing to do with Retama Manor and everything to do with you," he said.

"Oh?" she questioned with a puzzled look on her face.

Pat's son Pete Perez is fighting a rare form of bone cancer at MD Anderson in Houston.

The 27-year-old Donna police officer and former Marine Reservist, who served two tours overseas, recently had a leg amputated.

Pat's co-worker, Jenny Vela, wants to help her with traveling expenses so she and Pete's 3 children can be by his side.

"You're always helping," Jenny said. "You care so much about the residents. You have a lot of patients and I'm so sorry that you're going through so much with your son. And I wish it didn't happen to you, your family. I don't wish it upon anybody. I'm sorry that he has that disease but he'll pull through. I just wanted to tell you that we all love you here. We care for you, and it breaks my heart to see you go through this. I just want to tell you that I want to Pay it 4Ward. We all do."

Karen Gonzalez with FNB Insurance Agency shares with Pat how they're Paying it 4Ward.

"You've been such an incredible mother and source of hope and courage and strength for your son," she said. "And we know that you travel back and forth to visit him in Houston so we want to help you out in some small way. So on behalf of FNB Insurance and Action 4 News here's $400."

Pat eyes begin to tear.

"Thank you," she said. "If it weren't for Retama Manor that keeps me going every day, their words of encouragement, I don't know. It's hard to see a son that went to the military, is in the Donna PD, who's very strong, to see him laying there. It's hard because his kids are always asking about him."

Pat vows to remain strong.

She'll have plenty of support from her co-workers along the way.

"Pay it 4Ward," she said.

Pete returns to MD Anderson on Friday for another round of chemotherapy.

Pat says she TMll use the Pay it 4Ward prize to get a second vehicle repaired so the family can visit him more often.

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