HARLINGEN — Cowboys with Faith Second Chance was founded on the principle of giving those in need help and a second chance.
Founded in 2010 by Roy Perez of Crawford, the group strives to raise money and awareness by conducting trail rides and other events.
The proceeds go toward those fighting cancer and who are in great need of healing and support.
For that, Cowboys with Faith is dedicated to its mission.
Perez is no stranger to second chances and thought since God gave him one, he should help others.
Perez, a born-again Christian, suffered many years from a sever addiction to alcohol. He has been a recovering alcoholic since 1999. But at his addiction’s highest point, Perez said it was bad. It took over his life and almost ruined it.
It stripped him of his jobs, freedom, finances and marriage. He was imprisoned for a short time after being arrested for several DWIs.
“During my incarceration I felt my life change. A spiritual awakening had come upon me,” Perez said. “I felt a new life had begun and what a beautiful feeling that was.”
Fast forward to 2010, Megan Dominguez, 25, was in treatment for leukemia and waiting on a bone marrow transplant. Her family was also in need of financial help.
The community of McGregor banded together to raise funds. Seeing the courage of the town and the woman’s family, Perez knew in his heart he had to find someway to help.
“After praying I felt another spiritual lift telling me, you have horses, do what you love doing, trail rides,” Perez said.
Perez only met with Megan one time in person when Perez and his group of trail riders rode about 16 miles to give her the $80 they had raised.
“She stood up, said hi, and hugged me with a big thank you,” Perez said. “From that day I founded Cowboys with Faith.”
The group continued to raise money for Megan until she passed away in 2011. Every year Perez organizes a group ride to her final resting place.
“I continue to do a seven mile ride from my house in Crawford to her resting place in McGregor,” Perez said.
The group, however small, would like to expand.
Deborah Abrego works with the group locally and handles things for Perez on the ground.
She hopes the organization can expand to the Valley, with the help of the local trail riding community.
Abrego, who understands the need for financial help in the Valley, said many people don’t have medical insurance.
Cowboys with Faith is willing to help those in need.
Just recently, in May, the group held a ride in Combes in honor of “Armed Forces Day,” for the many men and women who have served their country.
Abrego said the group will be hosting future events in the Valley.