Gifts donated to Pasco family going through tough times (w/ gallery)

PASCO — Enecia Campos kept dutiful watch out the front window of her family's Pasco home on Wednesday.

When the front door opened, she bounded past her mother Liz to see the bounty that the Wishing Star Foundation brought for her and her family.

She made a beeline toward the Hello Kitty bicycle -- a perfect present since she celebrated her fifth birthday Nov. 1 with a party themed with the ubiquitous Japanese cartoon cat.

Once the rest of the presents were carried in, she wanted to unwrap each one.

"Can I open this one?" she asked as she carefully set each present under her family's Christmas tree.

It was a nice reversal of fortune for Enecia's parents Abel and Liz Campos after their home was burglarized two weeks ago.

The burglars made off with most of the family's electronics as well as other possessions, Abel Campos said. "At least they left us the TV," he added with a chuckle.

As bad as the burglary was, the family has been through darker times.

Enecia was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia more than a year ago and still is undergoing monthly chemotherapy at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane, her dad said, though she is in remission now.

"She's feeling pretty good, especially now that the Wishing Star people brought her that bicycle," he said. "They brought us tons of gifts, and we are so grateful."

The irony is that they were supposed to pick up the gifts last Wednesday during Enecia's monthly treatment in Spokane, but the Wishing Star Foundation was burglarized Dec. 6, with thieves making off with hundreds of dollars worth of Christmas gifts, including the ones for the Campos family, said Brittany Bergsson, president of the Tri-Cities chapter of Wishing Star.

"Within two days the Spokane community had donated more than enough money to replenish all the stolen gifts," she added.

The gifts are for the whole family, including Enecia's brothers A.J., 11, and Adrian, 9.

Abel Campos works two jobs, one as a "time-out paraeducator" at McLoughlin Middle School in Pasco, where he regulates unruly students, and the other as pastor at the Assembly of God's Bethany Worship Center.

Wishing Star grants wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses between the ages of 3 and 21 who live in eastern and central Washington and Idaho.

The nonprofit also granted Enecia her wish to see Wonderland where Alice lives last year. With the help of a handful of Tri-City families and the Academy of Children's Theatre, they put together a day of wonder that turned a backyard into Wonderland complete with the Mad Hatter, Alice and all the other characters from the classic fairy tale.

Once again, the Wishing Star Foundation found a way to lift their daughter's spirits.

The cold weather prevented any serious bike riding, but that didn't stop Enecia from happily hopping aboard to squeak her new bike's tires on the hardwood floor inside, a remodeling job local churches chipped in for because the carpet wasn't good for Enecia's weakened immune system.

"She was so excited to see that bicycle," her dad said. "It's absolutely going to a better Christmas. God's been good to us."