SACRAMENTO (CBS) - A 7-year-old Woodland boy diagnosed with leukemia wished to meet Santa Claus and have a hamburger dinner at the North Pole—and that wish was granted.
In July 2021, Santa sent a video message to Pastor to let him know they would meet on November 1 in Sacramento. The rest was a surprise.
"It melts my heart, especially in this time that...my sister's not here. This means a lot to me for him to be happy," said Teresa Silva, Pastor's aunt.
He arrived at the Downtown Sacramento Macy's in a limo Monday morning and was greeted by store employees dressed in their "North Pole best." Inside waiting, Santa Claus and a workshop space transformed to take Pastor to the North Pole like he wished to do.
He wrote his letter to Santa Claus, with specifics on their day: hamburgers for the meal, reindeers for entertainment, and of course, Santa's sleigh. Pastor got all of the above, and then some, thanks to a partnership between Make-A-Wish, Macy's and the Golden 1 Center.
Pastor was diagnosed with leukemia a few days before his 6th birthday. He started to experience high fevers, swelling and bone pain. A specialist at UC Davis Medical Center ran tests to determine he not only had cancer of the blood, but also in his bones.
That diagnosis was not going to stop Pastor's joy, according to his family. Silva said she wants to see her nephew with the smile on his face that he had with Santa Claus forever.
"I want him to be like this everyday. I don't want it to end. I want it to stay like this. My heart is so happy right now," said Silva.
On the day of his wish, the Golden 1 Center was transformed into the North Pole—complete with ice, presents, reindeer, gingerbread houses and Christmas decorations. When Pastor looked up, his wish and name shined on the scoreboards.
"We think it's critical. We think its part of the medicine of the child's journey," said Sean Mullin with Make-A-Wish.
Pastor fed the reindeer, ate hamburgers and milkshakes with Santa, and watched a movie with his family on the big screen.
"My wish came true," he said when gifted with new clothes from Macy's.
November 1 marks the start of Macy's Believe campaign, in partnership with Make-A-Wish. Customers can send letters through Dec. 24, either in-store or online. Macy's will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish, up to $1 million, to help children fighting critical illnesses, like Pastor, to make their wishes come true.
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