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Operation Noel: Single father pushes past pain to provide for family of five

VADO, New Mexico -- Marcos Hernandez looks after five kids and his 86-year-old father. He's been a single dad for four years.

"I work hard to give them what I can and everything they need. It's been hard but not impossible for me to do it," said Hernandez.

Hernandez works full-time in construction and landscaping and can't always be with his children.

That's when his dad steps in to help.  But with a health condition, it is not always easy. 

"I called them all the time to make sure how they're doing when I'm at work, and we just help each other," said Hernandez.

Hernandez knows being a family is a team effort. His eldest son, 14-year-old Marcos Jr. And 13-year-old Adrian also try to lend a helping hand.

His other three children are 10-year-old Riahana, 8-year-old Janin and 6-year-old Martin.

"I'm trying to get them to learn that they have chores. When they don't go to school, I'm taking them to work, the oldest ones, to show them that they need to earn money the right way."

Hernandez says it's rough to be a single dad and the sole provider of all the members of his family.

But he also says nothing is impossible.

"I'm still not a perfect father, but I'm doing the best thing I could do, and I could be for my kids," said Hernandez.

Hernadez has suffered from severe gastritis for 13 years. After a recent trip to the hospital, Hernandez pushed through the pain to continue working to provide for the family.

"As soon as I got out, they told me I couldn't work for two weeks, but I just went straight to work because if I don't work, I can't support my kids."

For Hernandez, his kids are his life. He would do anything for them.

"I want to tell them that I love them, that I will always going to be there for them and do everything that I can for them," said Hernandez.

The Operation Noel Telethon takes place on Thursday, Dec. 1. Please consider donating this year. One coat costs $17.50.

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Heriberto Perez

Heriberto Perez Lara reports for ABC-7 on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border.


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