San Jose family with terminally ill son gets holiday decorations stolen, then big surprise

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Vernon Avenue is sprinkled with homes already donning Christmas decorations well ahead of the holiday, but none of them compare to Shelly Jimenez's home.

"I've been decorating for years," Shelly said.

Shelly is what you'd call a festive lady, but she decorates her yard for her son Christopher.

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"Christopher was born disabled and one thing he's always loved growing up is looking at bright colorful lights," Shelly said. "Oh gosh it means so much because he's been sick his whole life."

24-year-old Christopher has a terminal lung condition and started losing his eyesight this past summer.

"He can only see a tiny area by the tear duct," Shelly said.

Lights need to be big and bright for Christopher. Almost two weeks ago, someone took that away. The family's decorations were stolen.

"I was actually in shock," Shelly said. "I could not believe what I was seeing."

"It was heartbreaking the day it happened," Justin Christensen, a neighbor, said. I think we were just determined not to let that happen."

Neighbors started a Gofundme called 'Lights for Chris.' It raised nearly $4,000 dollars.

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"The director for Christmas in the Park and the store manager of Home Depot on Blossom Hill donated all of the props," Shelly said.

A new display was set up in the Jimenez's yard.

Since so much money was raised, the family insisted on decorating their whole street. And-in true form, the "Vernon Avenue Angels" as Shelly calls her neighbors, stepped in to help with that on Thanksgiving Day.

"I really didn't know a lot of the neighbors on the block and after all of this we are like family now," Shelly said. "It's just so beautiful."

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