In his late 20s, Mario’s father passed away from lung cancer, and just four months later Mario himself was diagnosed with cancer. Mario started using drugs to get through his chemotherapy treatments. For years after, he struggled with addiction and started selling drugs to feed his addiction and support his family. At the age of 32, Mario was given two life without parole and two life with parole sentences for drug trafficking because he had prior nonviolent offenses. While he was incarcerated, Mario’s mother passed away. Although his nephew plays for the OKC Thunder, Mario has never been able to see him play.