Caley’s Carnival raises funds for foundation

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A unfulfilled wish is like a broken promise. For a critically ill child, it is nothing short of heartbreaking.
Long-time Gilroy residents, Martin and Teresa Camarillo, experienced that heartbreak when their daughter, Caley, who suffered from cystic fibrosis, grew ill and was forced to cut short her Make a Wish Foundation trip to Disneyland
Through the Gilroy Lion’s Club, Caley was granted a second wish and made a return trip to her dream destination before she passed away at the age of 12 in June 2014.
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Not all critically ill children are afforded such an opportunity, but the Breathe for Caley foundation, established by the Camarillos, found a way to change that. With the slogan “One Wish Is Not Enough,” the foundation’s long-term goal is to grant additional wishes to critically ill children throughout California.
“I think there are families out there that need us, or people like us,” said Martin Camarillo in an interview in late May. “It’s time for us to give back.”
 The Camarillos see the foundation as a positive step forward out of the tragedy that befell them with their daughter’s death.
“We had a long, long, fight with Caley. I want people to speak her name, and say her name, which is why we named the foundation after her,” Teresa Camarillo said.
No doubt Caley’s name will be spoken frequently June 13-14 at Caley’s Carnival, the foundation’s first fundraiser at Uesugi Farms Pumpkin Park in San Martin. Sponsors of the carnival include Uesugi and Ooh! La, la! Couture, along with a variety of local vendors. Admission to the carnival is free and all proceeds go directly to the children and families of children with terminal illnesses.
The family’s goal is to “do nothing but grant wishes,” and the foundation will do exactly that on June 13.
“It’s really important to have our first wish granted on June 13, the one year anniversary of Caley’s passing,” Teresa Camarillo said.
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The foundation’s first recipient is Maria Fajardo, a young girl with cystic fibrosis who received a double lung transplant. Maria’s wish is a selfless one. She wants her organ donor’s family to receive Oakland Raiders football tickets, her donor’s favorite team. A double-zero Raider’s jersey will also be presented to the donor’s twin brother.
If all works out as the Camarillos hope, a Raider will make the presentation at the carnival. As a surprise to Maria, she and her family will also receive game day tickets and a double-zero jersey.
 “Caley always wanted to give her supporters something back for their contribution, that was her heart. She had an amazing heart,” Martin Camarillo said. “We’re kind of keeping it the same. You’re going to go to a carnival, you’re going to get an experience, and you’re going to create memories.”
Along with rides and games for all ages, the carnival has lined up Francesca Capaldi, Disney personality from the TV show “Dog with a Blog,” who will be available for meet-and-greets both days.
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Renowned prizefighter, longtime friend of the Camarillos and a foundation board member, Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero, will also be on hand hosting his own meet-and-greet on Sunday.
Guerrero plans to make a major announcement that has been kept under wraps and won’t be revealed until Saturday at the carnival.
“It’s huge,” said Teresa Camarillo, her eyes wide with excitement. “You don’t want to miss out.”
The foundation is very close to Guerrero’s heart, as it brings joy to families with chronically ill children. He wore a Breathe for Caley logo on his boxing trunks at his last televised bout on June 6.
“Caley, who was an inspiration to me and my wife Casey, is looking down on us with a big smile on her face,” Guerrero said. “She would have loved to be a part of this carnival, and we’re going to make it as fun as possible for everyone attending.”
The Camarillos’ biggest goal is spreading the word about the Breathe for Caley foundation.
“There are no other agencies out there that provide a second wish to these kids who basically live at the hospital,” Teresa Camarillo said, recalling Caley’s last year when it seemed she never went home.
Dad, with tears in his eyes, capsulized his daughter’s spirit.
“You talked to her and everything slowed down,” he said. “She was in every event she could attend. She inspired other kids. She lived life to the fullest, because she knew she had a minimum amount of time.”
The Camarillos want people to understand that the Breathe for Caley foundation was developed in their hometown of Gilroy. “This is where we live, where we’re growing, where we’re staying,” explained Martin Camarillo.
“We’re just a family from Gilroy who wants to make a difference with our daughter’s name.”
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All the Camarillos wear a special necklace. Tucked inside each one, in a hidden compartment, is a lock of Caley’s brown hair. They’ll be wearing the necklaces at Caley’s Carnival, just as they wear them every day.
“She was our hero, and now she’s our angel. We carry her everywhere,” said Martin Camarillo, gently holding up the thin silver chain dangling around his neck.

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