11-year-old girl helps raise money for pediatric cancer research

PEARLAND, Texas – Gavin Messih, 3, looks like the perfect picture of health, but the Pearland boy has spent more than half his young life fighting leukemia.

He and his family now have a new friend in their battle to defeat not just Gavin's disease but all pediatric cancer.

"I've had people in my family who has cancer," said 11-year-old Emma Schaol. "So I decided to go door to door to ask for donations."

Schaol went door to door for more than a month, in fact, to raise money for a foundation started by Gavin's father Sam Abdelmessih. Gavin's Galaxy uses the funds for his treatment but also to lobby Congress and educate the community about pediatric cancer.

Emma presented more than $1,200 to the Messih family this past weekend at a softball tournament in which her Pearland youth team earned second place.

"There was a lot of crying. It was really emotional," recalls Emma. "It was just a really happy place, seeing all the smiles and crying from happiness."

Gavin has at least 2 1/2 more years of cancer treatments. It's a long journey but his family is more than grateful to know he has a new friend to assist him on the way.

"What she did should be an example to others," said Gavin's father, Sam Abdelmessih. "Not just other kids but other people, of what one person can do."

This weekend's tournament raised a total of $13,000 for the foundation. If you would like to donate, the family has set up a GoFundMe account.

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