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Texas resident touched by boy's death

February 16, 2002|By DORA DEPAOLI, Staff Writer

When news of the death of Jesus "Jesse" Vidaurrazaga was noted in this newspaper recently, a Texas resident read about it online.

Sandy Cavins Rock of Rowlett, Texas, was touched by the PROBE item requesting gifts to help little Jesse's family with funeral expenses.

"I read the paper online every morning," said Rock. "It helps me feel connected to my home town. All I had to do was start reading the story to my husband and he handed me the checkbook."

Rock and her husband, Brian, an architect, sent a check for $500 to help with the funeral costs.

Rock, 38, lived in El Centro until her sophomore year at Central Union High School. Jeri McCall of Holtville said she and Sandy have been close since they were in seventh grade at Kennedy Middle School in El Centro.

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"That is typical of Sandy," McCall said. "She has a very big heart."

Jesse, 12, was in the fifth grade at Meadows Union Elementary School. He died Jan. 27 in Children's Hospital in San Diego of a cerebral hemorrhage. His funeral was Friday. He was the son of Augustin and Rosalba Vidaurrazaga Becerra of El Centro.

Although he had several disabilities, all who knew him thought he was a "special kid." Jesse had indicated to his parents that he had no fear of dying and wanted to be an organ donor when he died. His parents followed his wishes.

"Jesus was a great little kid," said Paul O'Brien, his teacher. "He was the kind of kid that all teachers would like to take home and adopt as part of their family."

Lorri Cavins, vice principal at Meadows, said of Jesse: "He was so pleasant all the time even with his handicap. It made your day when you saw him. I never noticed kids making fun of him. I think it was in part because everyone liked him because he was so nice."

Cavins was surprised to learn the generous donor was the niece of her husband, Don Cavins.

Rock visits friends in the Imperial Valley every June and cleans the gravestones of her father, the late Bill Cavins, and other relatives.

"I will be sure to visit the grave of Jesus. I clean up the headstones of the relatives and brush off those close by," she said.

The Rocks have two daughters — Kristin, 19, a student at Texas A&M University, and Kayla, 12, a sixth-grader.

In the last paragraph of her letter she shared these words:

"My thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Jesus. This world was blessed to have such a brave little boy, who so lovingly wanted to give life to others by donating his organs. Not only will I be sure to check the organ donor box on my driver's license, but I will be holding my daughter a little tighter tonight!"

A generous spirit runs in little Jesse's family, too. His mother requested any money left after funeral expenses is to go to the family of another Meadows student with stomach cancer.

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