McGregor shooting victims touched hearts in Central Texas

Published: Oct. 4, 2022 at 6:30 PM CDT
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McGREGOR, Texas (KWTX) - Natalie and Lori Aviles, two of the victims in the McGregor shooting, leave behind a lasting legacy on the Central Texas community.

The two were heavily involved with the Community Cancer Association, a local organization that helps patients diagnosed with cancer and their families.

At organization events Natalie would host Facebook Lives in Spanish. Sometimes she would even help translate for Spanish-speaking patients.

When Natalie’s father and Lori’s husband, Mike, was diagnosed with colon cancer they turned to the Community Cancer Association.

“Whatever they needed, medications, supplies, travel assistance, we could take care of that and we could help out with that,” said Terry Hunt, executive director of the Community Cancer Association.

In 2020 Natalie and Lori lost Mike to the cancer. In the years after his death, the mother and daughter held annual benefit walks in McGregor to raise awareness for colon cancer. The two walks raised thousands of dollars and went directly towards the Community Cancer Association.

“They wanted to save someone else’s life by giving them the tools to understand what signs to look for,” Lori’s sister-in-law, Renee Flores, said.

During this time, Natalie helped children who lost a parent to cancer better understand their grief. Eventually her contributions led her to a position on the board of directors for the Community Cancer Association – at the age of 19.

“She can bring so much to the table to help with these younger patients,” Hunt said. “It was decided to vote her on as a full-fledged board member, the youngest one we’ve had.”

A McGregor High School cheerleader, student council president, National Honor Society member and former Miss McGregor are just some of the many hats Natalie wore.

Back in October 2019, KWTX News 10 selected Natalie as a Classroom Champion where she talked about the high goals she set for herself

“A lot of my family didn’t have the opportunity to accomplish the goals that I am accomplishing now,” Natalie said then. “Of course it’s a great accomplishment for me to get where I am. I have very high goals for myself.”

Natalie and Lori left a lasting impact on Central Texas.

“They loved McGregor and it was so nice to see that McGregor loved them the way that they did,” Flores said.