AZUSA, Calif. (KABC) --An Azusa mother, who lost her 5-year-old son to cancer, had donation toys for sick children stolen, and after viewers heard the tragic story, many came together to replace what was lost.
Six months ago, Melissa Alvarez lost her son, Anthony.
Before he passed, Anthony told his mom what he would like at his sixth birthday party.
To honor him, Alvarez threw a birthday party for her son and asked guests to bring with them a toy to donate to Children's Hospital Los Angeles.
Alvarez took the toys and stored them outside after her landlord told her the home would be fumigated. Alvarez didn't want kids to receive toxic toys.
But overnight, thieves made off with most of the toys and even took some of Anthony's personal belongings, as well as Alvarez's mother's medication.
Anthony's family begged to have his stuff returned.
"He's not even here to even open any presents for his birthday. It's so sad," said Debra Alvarez, Anthony's grandmother, fighting tears.
Several Eyewitness News viewers heard the grieving mother's story and helped complete Alvarez's mission.
"It really angered me that something like that would happen, that somebody would do something at her lowest point. And when you can make a donation, which are scarce at some of these pediatric units at the hospitals, or bring toys, it means so much to the parents," said Bruce Rosenblum, a donor.
The owner of Dream World Comics in Culver City joined Alvarez and was working to set up a shopping spree for sick children at Children's Hospital L.A.
"...I can't believe there is wonderful people out there. My son is so blessed, I am so thankful," Alvarez said, with a smile.
It turned what was an awful story on top of an awful story into something that restores one's faith into humanity.