Chronically ill boy gets to ride with the BCSO Mounted Patrol

Gavin Villarreal, 7, wants to be a veterinarian

SAN ANTONIO – The Bexar County Sheriff's Office rode in to give a treat to a young member of its law enforcement family Saturday.

Gavin Villarreal, 7, suffers from common variable immune deficiency (C.V.I.D.), a life-threatening disorder of his immune system. His father, William Villarreal, is a Bexar County deputy whose brothers in blue surprised Gavin with a ride with a ride with Bexar County Sheriff Mounted Patrol at Mission Concepcion.

"We're family here at the BCSO," said Sheriff Javier Salazar. "So when I heard that there was a young man that's related to the family, of course it was a no brainer for us."

Gavin's father said he is a tough kid who has had to deal with a lot at such a young age.

"Basically what happens if he's around somebody that is sick, he'll get sick really easy. And you know a minor sickness to your or me could be fatal to him," Villarreal said of his son's condition, which also affects his sight and hearing.

The horse ride was a treat for the boy who wants to be a veterinarian someday.

"He loves animals," his father said. "I mean, he really likes horses, but yeah he's into pretty much all animals. He's a big animal lover."

Like most cowboys, Gavin was a man of few words on Sunday, describing his ride as "good," but his attitude as he sat atop his horse spoke loudly enough.

"It makes me happy to see him be happy," William Villarreal said. "You know, that's what it's all about"

About the Author: