KC murder victim’s mother surprises four children who lost their mom on Christmas with presents

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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- When a Kansas City teacher was killed last year, his mother made sure his students would know his giving spirit. Now "Brandon’s Angels" is spreading its wings of love to an Overland Park family who suffered a tragedy of its own last Christmas.

The idea for Brandon’s Angels came from a sympathy card to Brandon Johnson's mother from one of his students.

Johnson, 30, was killed in September 2016 near 28th and Mersington.

“It just kind of tore the family apart," Gaye Weston said. "We’re trying to move on and live out his legacy helping people.”

After giving gifts to his Melcher Elementary students last year, Weston decided to make helping families an annual tradition.

She met the parents of Diana Sekino at a grief counseling session. The 36-year-old Overland Park mother disappeared on Christmas Day last year. Her body was found in the woods two days later.

“They shared their story of how they lost their daughter last Christmas Day and left them to raise four children," Weston said.

Like Weston originally, Sekino's parents didn't have much interest in celebrating Christmas.

“We tried, but it’s hard,"Sekino's father Jorge Rivera said. "My wife is really down because my daughter passed away on Christmas."

But that changed when Weston invited the Sekino family over for a Christmas party Friday night. She surprised her four children with bags full of toys.

“It’s so heavy," Diana Sekino's 5-year-old boy said, trying to pick up the bag.

“Really this is awesome," Rivera said. "I never expected this."

Weston said she’s just happy to be helping carry out her son’s legacy.

“I think he’s smiling down on us right now, saying 'That’s right, Mama,'" Weston said.



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