Camarillos keep Caley’s memory alive via foundation

Caley Camarillo, 12, holds up a minature WBC World Title Belt given to her by Robert "The Ghost" Guerrero, Sunday during the Breathe for Caley Fundraiser at Morgan Hill Cellars. The event was hosted by Guerrero and raised over $15,000 through raffles and

GILROY—A little more than three months ago, Caley Camarillo lost her lifelong battle with cystic fibrosis. Though the 12-year-old Gilroy girl is longer physically here, her mother, Teresa Camarillo, is working to ensure her daughter’s memory will live on.
When she was 4, Caley’s dream of visiting Disneyland was made real through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. But one wish isn’t enough, Teresa said. As a sick child like Caley gets older, their dreams, desires and capabilities change—and there’s really no opportunity for another wish to be granted. That’s where the Breathe for Caley Foundation comes in.
“Caley and I had talked the last year of her life about how unfair it is to basically only get one wish when you’re chronically ill child,” Teresa said. “I’ve made a lot of cool things happen for Caley through social media, but not everyone is as lucky or gets the right people to notice them. This was kind of our way of giving back for basically the luck we’ve had.”
Breathe for Caley’s slogan is “one wish is not enough.” The foundation aims to grant another wish to chronically ill children or those who have been re-diagnosed who haven’t had a wish granted in five or more years.
Though the foundation’s 501(c)(3) status is still pending, that hasn’t deterred Teresa and her family with moving ahead with their plans. Currently, she is designing dance-themed T-shirts to be sold to dancers featured on the TV show “Dance Moms,” with the proceeds going to the foundation.
Teresa is also working with Maria Cid—who was instrumental in organizing the Breathe for Caley fundraiser hosted by world champion boxer Robert Guerrero—to organize other events to raise money for the foundation. Many events are in the works, but one date is concrete: June 21, 2015—which will honor the one-year anniversary of Caley’s passing on June 13. The foundation is planning a carnival in her honor and hopes to draw some of the Disney stars Caley touched over the last few years to it.
“We want to push forward with the Breathe for Caley Foundation and kind of go and see those smiles that we can put on other children’s faces for a while,” Teresa said.
Fundraising for Caley’s last wishes, a separate endeavor from the Foundation, is also ongoing through the family’s Go Fund Me page ( Just weeks before she died, Caley asked her family to take her to all the places she’s always wanted to go:
“Mom, Dad if something goes wrong, can you please take me with you wherever you go?” Teresa said her daughter asked in a nervous, but serious voice. “Please spread my ashes in the seven seas so I can swim with the dolphins and enjoy the amazing places I couldn’t go.”
The page has raised $18,343 of its $30,000 goal to date, but plans to carry out Caley’s wishes have been put on hold until the family is ready to move forward.
“Going anywhere or leaving anywhere is obviously hard for us,” Teresa said, fighting back tears. “Even fulfilling her last wish is just unfair to our hearts. All the places she wanted to go and she wanted to see bring us to her not being there with us. … We’re just trying to figure out things day by day.”
For now, Teresa and her family are still trying to navigate their way through their grief. Teresa said she finds comfort in being involved with the Gilroy Browns’ cheerleading program with her daughter Carly and focusing on Caley’s foundation.
“We definitely have our bad days and we have our good days—and our days when we’re just kind of getting through; it’s what anyone would expect,” Teresa said. “I’m pouring my heart and soul into that (Breathe for Caley) is what I think will help me carry myself through the darkest of times.”


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