In 1992, Luis, his parents and siblings moved from El Paso to Oklahoma City in search of a new life and a fresh start. He, his two brothers and sister grew up in rough, poor neighborhoods. While they didn’t have much, they did have two parents; and that was a fair share more than most kids around. They made sure Luis and his siblings were fed, clothed, had a roof over their heads and stayed together no matter what it took. It was an example that would stick with him for life.
Luis was an active kid and found ways to make a dollar here and there, mowing lawns, collecting cans and bottle caps, trying his best to stay more out of trouble than in it. But despite all that, he battled with his weight and was mercilessly teased and bullied in school. Around 15 years old, his life would take a drastic change.
Shortly after his two older brothers left the house, Luis’ father became sick and unable to support the family. The family already in poor conditions and further hurt by the sudden financial strain, Luis went in search of a job. Living in a rough environment and not old enough to work a steady job led to some bad choices while waiting for that first job. But at 16, he finally landed one… but to make ends meet with minimum wage, overtime, and working other’s shifts, that meant dropping out of school. Yet even with practically living at work, school supplies, clothing, car payments, rent, and trying to even provide for birthdays finally reached a breaking point. The family was evicted from their home.
The next few years were a struggle of working multiple jobs, fighting physical strain, poor health and ultimately a string of bad decisions that cost him those jobs and led to 3 years of incarceration. That imprisonment started fundamental changes in Luis, and a relationship with God would begin a journey to better himself and believe in a plan for his life.
Soon he was granted a work release program and a halfway house to get back to the life he left behind. Not only did he find the job that would turn into his career, but also freedom from a rough past and a new family of his own. But with this newfound strength and stability, his parent’s would now need this big guy’s support through even larger battles.
Between 2013 and 2015 the family fought deportation of Luis’ father, cancer in Luis’ mother, obesity related diseases in Luis himself and for five grandkids that they would all claim as their own. Ultimately after the long battle, Luis’s father was vindicated as a U.S. citizen, but they lost Luis’ mother as she succumbed to her illness. Her memory as the rock of the family who bound everyone tightly together remains, but in her absence there was left a family whom Luis will always care for, including those five grandkids and the four of his own.
Luis’ determination has remained through all of this, but understandably so have his weight related health concerns. Doctors say his physical limit has been reached. At 600 pounds, this big boy deals with high blood pressure, high cholesterol and sleep apnea on a daily basis. Though the symptoms of his poor health have motivated him to try a vast variety of options, with no improvement he is in and out of hospitals multiple times a year. Doctors have finally stated that his only option to live to see his children grow up is a Gastric Bypass surgery. After exploring insurance options, investing in them and being promised coverage, they have all predictably fallen through at the time of scheduling the actual procedure.
We want your help in rallying around Luis financially so he isn’t fighting this battle alone. Big or small, $1 or $1000, anything will help get him closer to living out a big life he can enjoy in a big way.
- Trey Lewis
- Brett Gordon
- Ron Mercer
- Paul Lutz
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