HOUSTON (KTRK) --A Go Fund Me page has so far helped raise thousands of dollars for the owners of a popular Houston taco truck, after their daughter died following a battle with brain cancer.
Maria Samano, 22, died yesterday. In May, her parents say doctors discovered four tumors in her head.
"My heart is so sad," said her father Vicente Samano. He and his wife run Tacos Tierra Caliente on West Alabama and McDuffie Street.
The taco truck has received national recognition for its food. Despite successes, other businesses nearby knew owners didn't have the financial resources to pay for a funeral and medical bills.
The West Alabama Ice House, which sits just across the street from the truck, started a Go Fund Me page hoping to raise $5,000. They've already tripled that amount - donations now total well over 15 grand.
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"This was the best way to help them so that they could grieve and not worry about the costs," said Icehouse owner, Pete Markantonis.
Maria Samano's father says she wanted to be a dental assistant or maybe one day open a restaurant with her family.
He tells us they are touched by the outpouring of support from the community and says it is helping them persevere through their grief. "(We) have to continue. For her, make the business more bigger because she's looking at us," Vicente Samano said.
Samano explained that he will never forget his daughter's smile, her laugh or the genuine feeling of gratitude he has now for this community and his customers.
A funeral for Maria Samano will be held Monday. If you would like to donate, you can go through their Go Fund Me page.