Highland Cancer Survivor Saves Christmas for Neighborhood Children – NBC Los Angeles

on Dec9
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A cancer survivor who thankfully beat uterine and cervical cancer, but lost the ability to have children, decided to she would make the neighborhood children her own in Highland by wrapping and giving out hundreds of Christmas presents every year.

Rosy Cervantes has hundreds of toys inside her home — small mountains of cars, and toddler toys and everything you can imagine. There are gifts for all ages.

About 10 years ago, Cervantes had cervical and uterine cancer, and she beat it, but it took away the one thing she and her husband have always wanted.

“I couldn’t have children so this is why I do this because I fill that void that I don’t have children with this,” she said.

Six years ago, she saw a need to help underprivileged children in her Highland community.

She saw kids so poor that their parents couldn’t afford to buy them presents for Christmas. She knows firsthand what that’s like because when she was a child, her family was homeless for about five years, living on the streets of LA.

“My sister who is younger than me, she actually almost passed away because we didn’t have food,” Cervantes said. “Because we didn’t have anything. We were living off of Top Ramen — the ten cent packets.”

That’s why she created the IE Community Children’s Christmas Toy Drive, which is being held Sunday. She collects toy donations from anyone who will help her and then wraps those toys for needy children.

“You see their smiles, you see their little eyes and you see how happy they get,” Cervantes said.

Pictures from years past show long lines of kids, and all of them were grateful for a gift.

“It actually warms my heart because I’ve been there and I know how it feels and when you get that one gift, maybe it’s not what you wanted but at least it’s something,” Cervantes said.

Sometimes just a little something can make all the difference in the world in the eyes of a child.

“Maybe later in in the future they will want to do something like what I’m doing and pay it forward to somebody else when they get older,” she said.

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