Toyota of Laredo

Texas Dealership Helps Raise Thousands to Help Cancer Patients
by Alexa Conomos
Jan/Feb 2019
Toyota of Laredo
Nancy’s Legacy
Toyota of Laredo staff members pictured with Nancy Santos (second from left). Santos founded the Laredo Cancer Society to help local cancer patients with treatment costs.
Toyota of Laredo General Sales Manager Ron Manjack knew one thing for certain: he wanted his dealership to join the fight against cancer, but he wanted to do it on his turf.
 
"There are some big cancer societies out there, but none of the donations stay local,” he says. “We wanted the money to help people fighting cancer here. So I just needed to find the right cause."
 
Manjack found a connection through cancer survivor Nancy Santos. Diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 29, she'd noticed that same void while undergoing a rigorous chemotherapy and radiation treatment.
 
"She was so frustrated," her mother Nohelia Vasquez recalls. "She was disappointed that there wasn’t a lot of help here for patients like her. She wanted to change that."
 
So Nancy created the Laredo Cancer Society to help patients with treatment, utility bills and travel expenses. Toyota of Laredo partnered with her organization, donating $100 for every new car sold in the month of October. 
 
"When Nancy got that call, she was so excited. She jumped and screamed and couldn't believe how much the dealership wanted to do," Vasquez remembers.
 
Over the past three years, Toyota of Laredo has raised almost $30,000 for Laredo cancer patients. And Nancy was there almost every step of the way.
 
"She'd get out of chemo, come to the dealership with her cute pink wig on, barely able to walk. We'd all get so emotional to see her because she never gave up. She just truly wanted to help people," Manjack recalls.
 
Nancy lost her battle with cancer, but not before realizing the dream of marrying her longtime love. October 2018 marked the first year the dealership held its cancer awareness campaign without her. 
 
Manjack is emphatic Nancy’s legacy will endure.
 
"She started something special and we will continue to help others in her name. As Nancy liked to say, 'you've got a friend in me'. And she's got a friend in us."
 
To learn more about the Laredo Cancer Society, check out laredocancersociety.org

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