On Saturday morning, 6-year-old Berlynn Delgado stood outside of her home in La Habra wearing lavender-colored mittens, a blue face mask and the new custom t-shirt her mom had made for her.
It read: Be Brave like Me #BraveLikeBerlynn
A parade of La Habra police cars and Los Angeles County fire trucks made their way into her neighborhood and down her street, flashing their lights and sounding their sirens to show their unity toward the Delgado family. In a few days the Delgado’s would have to hang their faith over to doctors as Berlynn undergoes open heart surgery for feeding issues caused by an artery behind her esophagus.
The unexpected surgery and the timing of it happening in the middle of the holidays, has put an emotional and financial strain on the Delgado’s, but on Saturday morning, for a small moment, the family was able to focus on the feeling of togetherness from their community.
“I don’t have words for the gratitude I feel towards everyone who have helped us with this,” said Jaimee Delgado, Berlynn’s mom, who wore a t-shirt that read My Daughters Fight is My Fight. “My parents were here, they drove down, and it was really nice and emotional to see so much support for my daughter.”
The first responder parade was put together with the help of La Habra Police Department, Los Angeles County Fire Department and LA Habra City Councilmember Jose Medrano who received information about Berlynn, her upcoming surgery and her continued fight with DiGeorge Syndrome.
“I had gotten word that Berlynn and her family were going to be having this surgery and they wanted me to share a video to (La Habra) residents,” Councilman Medrano said. “I thought I could also do a little police and fire parade that could help them too. We were able to coordinate with police and fire, they were happy to do it.”
La Habra Police Chief Jerry Price said COVID has impacted the way community members gather to support one another during difficult times. The police department has been able to bring people together through drive-by parades along with the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
“We started doing these drive-by events as a way to be a part of the community and show our support,” said Chief Price. “This was a really worthy cause for Berlynn, all we wanted was to cheer her up and brighten up her day. We all wish her the best.”
Councilman Medrano stood alongside Berlynn and her family as police and fire vehicles made their way down her street with flashing lights and sirens.
“That little girl loved it. We made her day and her holidays. She has good family support, and we are all optimistic her surgery will go well.”
The Delgado family created a GoFundMe page after their doctor at Orange County’s CHOC referred them to the Los Angeles hospital and told them she would have to undergo open heart surgery to ease the feeding issues she was having.
“We have been watching for this all of her life,” Jaimee Delgado said. “The CHOC in Los Angeles has an Aero Digestive program, and they do these types of surgeries routinely, so we are doing OK.
“But we have a 9-year-old son (Aiden) who is handling it the best he can and an 8-month-old baby too. We are all spread a little thin physically and mentally. But it made us all feel good to know that she has her community behind her, sending their good thoughts, prayers and well wishes.”
For more details on Berlynn and the Delgado’s GoFundMe page, please go to: https://www.gofundme.com/f/brave-like-berlynn