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Grandfather's COVID-19 death sparks Vista teen's fundraiser for funeral expenses

Grandfather COVID-19 death
Posted at 3:49 PM, Feb 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-12 20:43:38-05

VISTA, Calif. (KGTV) - A Vista teen is on an emotional mission to make sure her grandfather receives a proper burial, weeks after he passed from COVID-19 complications.

"I miss him," said a tearful Anabelle Huizar, 17.

For Huizar, the emotions are still raw, two weeks later. Her grandfather Ramon Ruiz, 69, spent several weeks in the hospital, before passing away from COVID-19 complications on January 29th. Ruiz, a grandfather of 7, worked as a maintenance man at a Walmart in Oceanside for more than a decade.

"He was funny, always happy and so hard-working ... First thing that popped into my mind was that I have to help my mom," said Huizar.

Huizar says her family can’t afford the price tag for a funeral and burial.

"I just want him to have the funeral and the service he deserves," said Huizar.

So Anabelle went to work. She mixed up a homemade recipe of Mexican chamoy, a spicy, sweet and sour sauce which she poured onto a variety of candy. She offered the candy for sale on her Instagram page @bellesdulcesitos. After family and friends shared it, she got an incredible response.

"Day and night, people I didn’t know asking me for the candy," said Huizar.

When Anabelle isn’t in school, she’s now making either making candy or selling it. So far, she’s raised about a $1,000, still short of the $15,000 needed for the funeral, burial and headstone. Anabelle vows to keep working until she’s raised the money.

"We need somewhere we can all go have that peace with him," said Huizar.

In a statement, Walmart offered their condolences, calling Ruiz a member of the the Walmart family.

A Gofundme campaign has also been set up for the family to help with the expenses.