A definition of “warrior” is “a brave or experienced soldier or fighter” and one 11-year-old in Gonzales matches that definition.
Mason Camarillo, 11, was diagnosed with viral meningitis that developed into the spinal condition scoliosis at the age one, but he has not skipped a beat.
“He's a sweet kid. He's got a heart of gold. He wants to uplift everybody. Even whenever he's down, he's still being great to everyone,” said Leah Camarillo, Mason’s mother.
Mason’s father Matthew Camarillo, added his son has put everyone before himself.
Despite battling scoliosis, Mason continues to put a smile on his face and have a positive attitude.
“Seeing him come home with a smile is just a great feeling. Knowing that what he's going, through yet he still carries a smile — regardless of the things we think we have that are hard in life. It's always nice to see that smile from his face, knowing that he's happy inside, no matter what life throws at him,” Matthew Camarillo said.
“He's beat all the odds that were given to him when he had the meningitis, so he's come a long way. He's an inspiration to us that whatever we're going through, we can get through it,” Leah Camarillo added.
A raffle benefit will take place Sunday, Oct. 1, for Mason to alleviate the cost of traveling to Dallas for an Oct. 6 spinal fusion surgery at Texas Scottish Rite Children’s Hospital, but Leah Camarillo was not expecting the overwhelming support that has been received from the community.
“I knew that we knew a lot of people and I knew that he had a lot of love and support, but it's just been incredible to see how much the community has poured out their love and their support and their well wishes and all the prayers. Everybody sees his heart and it's very overwhelming,” Leah Camarillo said.
Hailey Camarillo, Mason’s sister, pulled some strings and asked the school district to make a post about her brother and show him love and support, she said.
Leah Camarillo said the love and support from the community shows that Gonzales has “heart” and demonstrates the type of people that live in town.
“You can't even begin to fathom how grateful and appreciative I am to everyone that loves Mason. He's a hard kid to not love, but just knowing that he's on everybody's hearts and minds and they all love him,” Leah said.
The support and love for Mason from the community, his mom, dad, brother, sister and co-parents have been a great feeling for him as well.
“It's crazy how much people want to support me during this time,” Mason Camarillo said.
Mason’s favorite team is the Houston Texans and his favorite player is future NFL Hall of Famer JJ Watt, and he said his favorite subject at Gonzales Junior High School is math and loves to make his friends and family laugh.
For more information about the benefit, check out Leah Camarillo’s Facebook page.