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5-year-old boy with leukemia who dreams of being a mailman given job sorting Santa's mail

5-year-old becomes "Santa's helper"
5-year-old becomes "Santa's helper" 01:33

5-year-old Mateo loves to sing. Fortunately, his boss is in the business of spreading Christmas cheer, so he's allowed to sing while he works. Mateo is Santa's helper. He got the job through the Make-a-Wish Foundation, CBS Sacramento reports.

Mateo was diagnosed with leukemia at 2 years old, and he's had to spend much of his life inside — even before the pandemic. During his days at home, he loves to see the mailman. "When I hear him come, I just hurry to the window and watch him," Mateo told CBS Sacramento. "He's just nice to us."

His dream is to become a mailman himself, but since that dream can't be fulfilled during the pandemic, Make-a-Wish helped him get a similar role: collecting letters to Santa.

mateos-letters.jpg
Mateo's wants to be a mailman one day, but since that dream can't be fulfilled during the pandemic, Make-a-Wish helped him get a similar role – collecting letters to Santa. CBS Sacramento

The boy stands outside of a Macy's in Stockton, California collecting the letters and putting them in a big red mailbox while singing to passersby.

His mom, Cynthia Toscano, hopes the job boosts his spirits. "He's had such a hard time the last few years," she said. "I think something like this is what he really needed."

While collecting letters to Santa, a familiar face stopped by to see Mateo. Kari Martinelli, a family friend, dropped off a letter to Santa and she had a very relatable Christmas wish. "Happiness and an end to COVID," she said.

Once there is an end to COVID-19 — or at least when things are safer — Make-a-Wish plans to give Mateo a real mailman experience. Until then, he's happy to be Santa's helper, singing while he works. 

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