SAN DIEGO -- Thieves targeted an Army veteran and young father who is battling stage four cancer while fighting for his life at the hospital.
Adrian Ortega, 24, was diagnosed with testicular cancer over the summer. The cancer is so aggressive he recently had to go through a nearly 15 hours surgery to remove it.
“He lost his left kidney. His reproductive system, but he made it. He pulled through,” his wife Jessica Tolentino said.
Not long after the intense operation, Ortega woke up to some bad news. The father of two -- with one on the way -- found out someone had broken into their home, ransacked the place and took off with his car.
“I was just [at] a loss for words. So upset that somebody would do that to my family,” Ortega told FOX 5 from his hospital bed.
“I felt like the air was knocked out of my chest,” Tolentino said.
Tolentino, eight months pregnant, said she went to their Mountain View home to find their Christmas gifts, electronics, social security cards, brith certificates and even children's clothes, pictures and art work were gone. Also missing was Ortega's chemo medication.
“We were at rock bottom. We already lost everything during this whole situation and just having the little that we had and just having somebody just go in our house and walk away with it. It was unfair,” Tolentino said.
The family is heartbroken but not showing hate towards the thieves.
“I don’t have anything else bad to say. Just to make sure they got what they needed and they don’t have to come back to our neighborhood again,” Ortega said.
“We haven’t lost our faith after, during this, before this and even right now,” Tolentino said.
Their main focus at the moment is family and getting their Christmas wish.
“Our biggest Christmas wish is that he gets well and the cancer does not come back,” Rose Hernandez, Ortega's grandmother, said.
“I just want him to be OK,” Tolentino said.
“That’s one of my biggest wishes right here. I don’t really want anything for Christmas this year. My family is here with me, and that I get better and that everybody out there gets support and everything they need this year,” Ortega said.
San Diego police said they are investigating, but no arrests have been made at this time. Ortega's family told FOX 5 his car has been recovered, but the inside has been torn apart.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family out during this difficult time.