DENVER — Every moment is precious, especially at the end.
"We thought we had a lot more time," said Chris Pedroza.
More time is what brothers Chris Pedroza and Michael Cervantez wished they had with their dad, Henry Cervantez.
"My dad will always be my hero," said Michael.
Henry Cervantez lived in Littlefield, Texas. Last month, he told his family he wasn't feeling well and decided to seek help.
"They took him to the hospital, did all the tests and kept him overnight. The next morning they said he tested positive for COVID," explained Pedroza.
Later that day, Henry's diagnosis got much worse when doctors told him he had stage four pancreatic cancer. Doctors gave him six months to live. With chemotherapy, he may be able to live even longer. Cervantez was reluctant at first to seek treatment.
"We were like, 'please Dad, we don’t want to lose you,'" Michael told Denver7.
His boys convinced him to get help in Denver where they've lived for the last two years. The family spent their time together making the most of life until the chemotherapy began. Unfortunately, that fight never started. Henry Cervantez died the day before he was supposed to start treatment.
"One of his dying wishes was he wanted to be buried next to his mom and dad. That consisted of a lot, especially with COVID," said Michael.
Between getting their father's body back down to Texas and the funeral, the bill was nearly $10,000. Money the family simply does not have. To make matters worse, Cervantez canceled his life insurance months before his diagnosis.
"Everybody is struggling. I know my dad wouldn’t have wanted it that way. He would’ve wanted it just to be the cheapest and we tried," Pedroza said of the funeral costs.
To pay for just half of the expenses, the family resorted to taking out loans, bake sales, and are now selling the furniture in their home to cover what they owe because it's the least they can do to honor a man who gave them everything.
"All we need is a bed, a roof over our head, food in the refrigerator and us," said Pedroza.
"We’re definitely going to keep his memory alive and keep him with us. The house may feel a little bit more empty but we have an angel watching over us. I know he’ll help us get through it," Michael told Denver7.
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