Ray Sanchez
Co-Founder/President

&

Betsy Sanchez
Co-Founder/Vice-President

Jesus said, "Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" (Matthew 6:21). Our hearts were already set on heaven before Bella went there.

Proud Parents of

Bella Serena Sanchez

Bella's father Ray Sanchez, a US Army combat veteran, & Bella's loving mother, Betsy Sanchez, entered a whole new world, brokenhearted, but with an open mind and a heart full of hope, when their youngest and only baby girl was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of 7 months old. Together they began to educate themselves about their daughters diagnosis.

Bella's initial treatment consisted of long hospital stays away from her hometown. Betsy stayed with Bella throughout her entire treatment and not only did she witnessed the suffering of her own daughter, but the pain and suffering of other parents and children going through childhood cancer. Bella's cancer journey was long and hard. However, the Lord called little Bella home and she gained her angel wings at the age of 2 on April 9, 2019. 

Ray and Betsy with great devastation vowed to make a difference and made it their goal to continue the fight and created an organization that would help support children and families stricken with pediatric cancer.

Together they have chosen to turn a horrible situation no parent wants to be faced with into a positive influence in people’s lives. They have promised to dedicate their lives to making a difference in the childhood cancer world by providing a helping hand to children and their families going through cancer. 

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In the same words that Job used (Job 1:21) "God you have given to us and taken from us but blessed be your name."

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Norma Lopez-Helzer

Director, Secretary

Mrs. Helzer received her Paralegal Certification in 1993 from The San Antonio Court Reporting Institute. Throughout her career she has worked with various law firms in San Antonio, Houston and Laredo, Texas. Since 2009, Mrs. Helzer has worked for the federal government, as a legal assistant. Norma is an active member and leader at Christ Worship Center a local church in the community. Her parents, Samuel and Noemi Lopez have Pastored the Sanchez family and been their spiritual leaders for over 20 years. Mrs. Helzer finds it an honor and privilege to serve in the capacity as the Secretary for Smiles from Heaven. Most importantly she finds it in her calling to serve in helping bring assistance to the children in our community who are fighting this battle with hope, comfort and joy. She believes that through the mission of Smiles from Heaven and in honor of her angel friend, Bella, we can all together let them know that “No One Fights Alone!”

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Jose Angel Gomez

Director, Treasurer

Jose Angel Gomez is a life-long friend of the Sanchez family Mr. Gomez has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration in Accounting, a Certification in Oil and Gas Accounting, and Certification in Small Business Management, all obtained from Texas A&M International University. Mr. Gomez is a local business owner and has over seven years of experience in accounting with various local companies. With his strong business & accounting background, Mr. Gomez will oversee the organization’s finance management and needs. He is honored to be a part of Smiles from Heaven.

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Ray Charles, Au.D.

Director

Dr. Charles is a practicing Audiologist in Laredo, Texas. He is a family friend of the Sanchez Family. Dr. Charles visited Bella during her initial time at the hospital when she was first diagnosed. He continued his support by assisting in organizing fundraisers for Bella's expenses during her fight. In his professional career, Dr. Charles provides hearing health-care to the South Texas community, including children and adolescents that suffer from hearing loss as a result from their chemotherapy treatments. As Board Member of Smiles From Heaven, Dr. Charles is honored to be assisting in all categories and be part of a great team dedicated to help children and their families fighting cancer. 

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Hector Hernandez

Director

Hector Hernandez Jr, a professional tattoo artist and small business owner, has been serving Laredo since 2007. A proud member of the community, Hector contributes by donating time and services to such organizations as The Veteran's Project, the South Texas Blood and Tissue Center, and local animal shelters. Hector is a regular fixture at community events, whether participating in Veteran's Ruck Marches or utilizing his artistic talents by providing children’s face painting. With an unabashed love for all things Laredo, he works tirelessly to continue improving the community both personally and professionally.