Thousands of dollars raised for former Weslaco Panthers football player battling cancer
Wed, 17 Oct 2012 04:11:39 GMT —
It's only been a few days since Armando Del Toro's heartbreaking story hit the internet and Action 4 after a garage and bake sale over the weekend with items donated by concerned residents and friends.
"Our yard was full, says Mando TMs Aunt Minerva Solis.
The former Weslaco Panthers football player is very close to undergoing a leg amputation to stop the spread of soft tissue sarcoma which is eating away at his once strong athletic body.
"Just Saturday, the amount raised was $13,265," says Solis
In addition, a woman in fort worth wants to donate a large amount to help someone she has never even met, but heard about on our website valleycentral.com.
"She said her son was reading it on the internet and he went and woke her up. She says before she even got through it she was in tears, so she called my sister Sylvia and told her she wanted to donate that amount," says Solis.
$15,000 is what the stranger wants to contribute.
The family told her as soon as they know which hospital he's going to, she can pay it directly there.
The family is hoping he will go to M.D. Anderson in Houston as soon as possible and even got the assistance of state leaders in getting the word out to the hospital.
"We have family in Houston and that hospital is known for treating sarcoma. We're waiting to see what they decided. I know yesterday they were having a meeting on it," says Solis.
Waiting is something Mando has been doing since he was diagnosed earlier this year.
Some days are harder than others.
I TMm not going to lie, says Mando, it TMs tough, it TMs really tough being here alone.
Luckily his friends are keeping him strong.
"You see his face light up when his friends come over to his house and we keep telling his friends to keep coming over because it makes a difference. They are a bunch of good kids, they have their heart full of love for him," says Solis.
In fact, aside from the visits to former teammate, Mando's buddies made t-shirts to honor their friend.
They have Mando's Panthers jersey #4 with the words Panther Brotherhood Never Dies and a quote from Mando which reads "I will beat this."
It really means a lot to me. Panther Brotherhood really means something, Mando says with tears in his eyes.
The 2008 graduate hasn TMt missed a home game yet even if he feels ill and is too weak to walk.