Stepfather’s cancer journey inspires family to fundraise for others battling cancer

Local News

HARLINGEN, Texas (KVEO-TV) — A local stepfather who lost his battle with colon cancer inspired the start of a fundraising initiative for those battling cancer here in the RGV.

The Miles for Manny Dance Fundraiser was created with Lilian Loucks stepfather in mind, Loucks told KVEO her stepfather’s cancer journey was a tough one which is why she became inspired to help others.

“He always wanted to give back to others and support others who were battling cancer even though he was going through his own battle too,” said Loucks.

Loucks and her mom, Monica Lopez, said throughout Manny’s treatments financial support was needed.

“We want to bless someone the way we were blessed and so we want to celebrate, give to someone that’s going through the same thing,” said Lopez.

In the state of Texas, cancer is the second leading cause of death for adults.

Dr. Chris Romero, Internal Medicine Specialist at Valley Baptist Health System, said prevention screenings should be taken seriously.

“Unfortunately if we put off that testing and that screening it means that we can get diagnosed with cancer at a much more advanced level; it’s better for us to just step up and get the screening that’s recommended,” said Romero. 

According to Loucks, this is the first Miles for Manny Dance fundraiser but she looks forward to it becoming an annual tradition in memory of her stepfather.

“He would be thrilled and excited that this would be a dance,” she said.

Loucks said her stepfather also loved running, and will be hosting a 5K Miles for Manny Fun Run in September to continue to help people in the valley battling cancer.

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