Honoring a young man's fight, love, and life on his birthday

Robin Bradshaw
Alice Echo News Journal

Thursday, Oct. 29 would have been Hector "Tres" Garcia's III 13th birthday celebration.

Garcia was a seventh-grade student at Ben Bolt Palito Blanco Independent School District. He was recognized and supported in the community for his lengthy battle against acute lymphoblastic leukemia. 

Garcia took his last breath at MD Anderson Hospital in Houston, on Wednesday, Oct. 28 in the early morning, according to his family.

"My son brought so much love to us and everyone he met,"  said his mother Rebecca "Becky" Garcia. "He was known for his fight, especially his sassy attitude, his love for all things Star Wars, his favorite color gold and is honored in our hearts for his courage, faith, spirituality, and love of God."  

Hector "Tres" Garcia III - A true Star Wars fan.

Garcia's story has recently been featured in the Alice Echo-News Journal for the organized events and community support regarding his battle against leukemia. Last month, the Boys and Girls Club in Alice helped with a walking prayer vigil, and friends and family created an online GoFundMe account to help raise money to support Garcia's chance for a recovery.

Garcia was diagnosed in October of 2017 with acute lymphoblastic leukemia and reached remission in January of 2018 and started the battle again in December of 2019. He has since been to MD Anderson Hospital for a bone marrow transplant that was donated by his sister.

After months of treatments, this year at Driscoll Children's Hospital in Corpus Christi, doctors recommend an advanced therapy offered in Philadelphia. Garcia was in need of a treatment called CD22 CAR-T- cell therapy for his acute lymphoblastic leukemia and a second bone marrow transplant at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. 

Late last week, Garcia was admitted to MD Anderson to harvest his cells and receive platelet therapy in Houston. During this past weekend, he became short of breath and after an X-Ray and bronchial test, he was later diagnosed with pneumonia. Garcia struggled with breathing and anxiety during his last few days and fought until the end, his family explained. 

In honor of Hector "Tres" Garcia, the family celebrated his birthday with a balloon release and firework display.

"If anyone in the Alice area hears fireworks tonight it is for my son Tres. He loved fireworks, and tonight they are for him," said his father Hector Garcia Jr. 

Hector "Tres" Garcia III