ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico (AP) — An 11-year-old Mexican boy who had portions of a massive tumor removed in New Mexico is living comfortably here with his family as he prepares for more treatment.

Jose Antonio Ramirez Serrano and his family are staying in a rented home outside Albeuquerque thanks to donations from church members, Kristean Alcocer of the First Baptist Church of Rio Rancho said Thursday.

Alcocer said church members also helped the family with the purchase of a used van.

Last year, doctors at University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque removed a third of the boy's watermelon-sized tumor during the surgery.

In July 2012, U.S. Homeland Security officials assisted in picking up Jose and his parents from a neighborhood in Ciudad Juarez — one of the deadliest cities in the world because of drug cartels.

Federal agents helped the family seek care for Jose after First Baptist Church members saw him during a missionary visit.

After stories and images of the boy went viral, church officials reported a jump in donations to help him raise money for the surgeries.

Alcocer said the first surgery already has impacted his life in a powerful way.

"His old shirts are now too big for him," Alcocer said. "He is hopeful about his future and is ready to start riding the bicycle he got for Christmas."


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