Every time North Fort Myers Alum Tre Boston takes the field for the Carolina Panthers, his mom says a prayer.
She prays for his health, his future, and thanks God that the struggle finally bred success.
“It’s such a wonderful feeling to see him run out there, to see him sack someone,” says Iris De Hoyos, Boston’s mother. “Because ever since he was little, I just knew.
De Hoyos gave birth to Tre when she was 19 years old. She was single, and alone.
“When I had my son, it was a choice. It was my moment as a parent to either go ahead and make excuses, and live in the bad life that I grew up in, or overcome it all and sacrifice it all to be an amazing parent,” said De Hoyos.
As her son grew up, she’d play the roles of both the mother and the father.
“We always ran together,” said De Hoyos. “From sprints going to Centennial Park, to throwing the ball around, to me being a basketball coach at the YMCA. I was the only female basketball coach. ”
Money was tight. But she found ways to make sure her son had everything he needed to become successful.
“We lived in a 588 square-foot house. We’d have to try how to figure out how to afford cleats, or basketball shoes,” said De Hoyos.
“There was many times when there was many tears, and I had to shuffle money, but let me tell you, as a mother, it’s the greatest investment any parent can make.”
This Sunday, she’ll be in the stands, doing the same prayer, as her son takes the field for the NFC Championship game in Charlotte.
“Every mother’s goal is to get their kids to their dream,” said De Hoyos.
“My son is there. He’s in the NFL.”