True Blue Heroes



Erika Vela | PLEASANTON EXPRESS The Chapa Family (L to R-Vanessa, Hilario, Darian and Jayden) were humbled by the generosity of Blue Santa, the Pleasanton PD, Public Works Departments and outpouring of community support.

Erika Vela | PLEASANTON EXPRESS The Chapa Family (L to R-Vanessa, Hilario, Darian and Jayden) were humbled by the generosity of Blue Santa, the Pleasanton PD, Public Works Departments and outpouring of community support.

On Friday, December 4 a Christmas wish was granted for one local five year old whom was placed under hospice care. For the past three years, Darian Chapa has been battling bronchioveolar carcinoma, which is a form of cancer that attacks the lungs. Chapa was devastated when he learned he would be homebound and wouldn’t be allowed to visit Santa this year. Chapa’s mother, Vanessa Chapa, took to social media asking friends and family if there was a way Santa would be able to come to their home to visit.

“The dream of him not being able to see Santa hurt him. When I posted on Facebook that I was looking for Santa to come to our home, different friends said I should call the police station to see if Blue Santa could come by,” said Chapa.

What she didn’t know was many other people began sharing her story and making phone calls to the police station on their behalf. The community began showing their generosity by dropping off different items for Darian, such as games, pajamas, and space heaters.

As the cost of medications and bills pile up, Christmas in the Chapa home had been at the very bottom of their list. Right now, Darian’s treatment has been paused as they’re focusing on strengthening his lungs. A few months ago, Darian underwent surgery to remove tumors from his lungs. He was previously going to MD Anderson Hospital in Houston three times a week for chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

Pleasanton PD Chief Ronald Sanchez and Captain Johnny Gonzales went to visit the family and notified them Blue Santa would be coming by to visit Darian. When they noticed the Chapa family didn’t have a tree or decorations they also said they would be bring them a few Christmas decorations. On Friday, they were surprised with not only a vist from Blue Santa, but by public works department employees and police officers with a tree, ornaments, ladders and lights to decorate their home for them. This holiday crew also brought Christmas presents for Darian and his three siblings.

“We didn’t expect any of this. We just thought Blue Santa would come by to see Darian and bring him a gift. We don’t really tell anyone how tough things are with us right now. This really means a lot to us that they’ve gone out of their way for him,” said Darian’s father, Hilario Chapa.

As city workers were decorating the outside of the house, Darian and his twin brother, Jayden, were opening gifts which included Ninja Turtles and Nerf Guns from Blue Santa. They watched in awe as workers decorated their new tree and home. The boys’ smiles and thank you’s warmed the hearts of everyone present.

“They seemed very excited and it meant a lot to us to see them happy. This is why we’re here, to help out the community in any way we can,” said Johnny Huizar, Director of Public Works.

A little while after the presents were opened, Darian took some time from playing with his new toys and super hero figures to hand out bracelets to thank everyone who had worked to decorate his home and bring him gifts. The bracelets read: Team Darian “Lil Cap”-Not All Heroes Wear Capes.

When his older siblings, Kyrie and Lorena Leal, came home they were doubly surprised at the generosity that had been shown to their family. The Chapa family would like to thank everyone who decorated their home and reminded them of what Christmas really means.

“We can’t explain how thankful we are for how everyone came together for a little boy no one really knows. Everyone’s help has made us feel like we aren’t really alone in this fight,” said Vanessa.

If you’d like to send a message of hope to Darian and his family, you may like his Facebook page, Prayers for Darian #TeamDari.


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