AURORA, Colo. -- Colorado teen, Daniel Alvarado, spent the last two months collecting toys for kids at Children's Hospital Colorado.
Alvarado started the ‘Cancer Fighters To The Rescue Toy Drive’ 10 years ago, after his brother, Diego, was diagnosed with leukemia.
“It made me realize that these kids didn’t get to spend Christmas outside of here, so, I thought at 6-years-old, why not bring Christmas to them,” said Alvarado.
Diego passed away three years ago, but his family continues the tradition. For the first time this year, Daniel got to visit patients, and pass out gifts in person. He says it is a moving experience.
“Honestly, my heart is beating so fast,” said Alvarado, after delivering the first of many gifts. “I’ve been waiting, ten years to see their reaction, and seeing it now is incredible.”
Christmas hasn’t been the same for Daniel since losing his brother. Carrying on the toy drive in Diego’s honor helps him feel the holiday spirit.
“Of course I always think what it would be like if he were here,” said Alvarado. “Would he be proud of me, would he be happy this is still going on?”
Their mother, Ruth Gonzalez, knows the answer to Daniel’s question. With tears in her eyes, she shared her pride in her children.
“This is his mission, he loves to do this,” said Gonzalez. “Even though we don’t have Diego with us, this is special, this is what we do for him, in honor of him.”
Alvarado was able to collect the toys through donations to a gofundme page. The crowd-sourcing site named him one of five ‘Community-Nominated Heroes,” earlier this year.