LAS CRUCES, N.M. (KTSM) — Twelve-year-old Manny Lopez of Las Cruces has terminal cancer. To lift the boy’s morale and to say goodbye, the community of Las Cruces drove by his house on Saturday.
“We love Manny,” a family shouted from a car as it passed by.
“Because I know that I am losing him, just, I guess for the community to be able to say goodbye to him,” said Diana Talamantes, Manny’s mother.
Manny watched the line of police and sheriff’s cars, along with bikers and numerous community members, drive-by with balloons and signs for the boy. However, his mother said he was in a lot of pain during the parade.
“He was excited about coming out. He was just worried about the pain because he is in a lot of pain when we move him. I think it was good for him, for his morale,” said Talamantes.
Manny was diagnosed with cancer when he was just eight years old and in February, his family was told that his cancer had spread and is terminal.
“Manny obviously has changed a lot over, even over the last couple of weeks, he was up and moving around up until about two months ago. About a week-and-a-half ago, he lost mobility in both of his arms,” said Talamantes, adding how difficult it is to see her boy not be able to move.
“Basketball and football were his passion, he was athletic, and now he can’t do any of that,” said Talamantes.
Along with the community, Manny’s family surrounded him, including his aunt who flew in from Phoenix.
“I teared up the whole time but I have to be strong for both of them, you know, I have to be strong, but seeing everybody out here is just amazing. It’s a feeling so overwhelming,” said his aunt, Maria Christner.