While Houstonians were evacuating before the arrival of Hurricane Harvey, San Antonio mom Lilliana Castro was doing quite the opposite. She hopped in the car with her four children and headed straight into the storm’s path.

She wouldn’t have faced one of Houston’s most damaging storms on record unless it was urgent.

Her 11-year-old son, Tony, was due for surgery to remove the golf ball-sized tumor next to his brain stem. It would be his third surgery in four years.

“They thought I wasn’t going to come over here because of the storm, but for my son, I would brave any storm,” Castro told TODAY.
Kassandra, Isaac, Lilliana and Tony Castro Courtesy of Hermann Memorial Hospital and Lilliana Castro

Tony was just 7 when he was diagnosed with brain cancer. After two surgeries and chemotherapy, a CT scan about a month ago revealed the cancer was back.

Castro sought treatment for Tony in Houston because she had no other options. After Tony’s first surgery in 2014, doctors in San Antonio felt it was unsafe to continue treatment. A registered nurse at IASIS Healthcare and a devoted mother, Castro refused to give up.

Tony had received radiation in Houston, so she sought help there. Dr. David Sandberg, a pediatric neurosurgeon at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital, gave her hope. Read the article on today.com.