Aunt's death inspires 7-year-old's crusade to raise funds for cancer (Video)
Oct. 17, 2012 at 5:17 a.m.
Updated Oct. 18, 2012 at 5:18 a.m.
Makay'La Faith Mae Cavazos sat patiently as she described how much her aunt, Pamela Sanchez, meant to her. She said watching her aunt lose her life to liver cancer hurt her.
But instead of dwelling on the tragedy, the second-grader decided to take action. Since her aunt's death, Makay'La has dedicated her time to helping others.
"I want to help people in my family," said Makay'La. "It's sad that it might be someone's mom or dad."
Makay'La has been saving money from her allowance, not to keep for herself but to help others who have cancer. Once getting money - mostly change - she places it in jars, which she gives to charity. She's even coaxed her mother to take part in helping but in a different way.
All this and she hasn't reached her eighth birthday.
Makay'La has been telling her mother, Maranda, in the past to get a mammogram.
Recently, she finally got one, and the result was negative. "Knowing her asking me about breast cancer, you never know if that is ever going to happen" said Maranda. "She just made me think about it. It was like a slap on the face."
Makay'La has inspired her classmates at Torres Elementary as her class raised $200 during a Pennies for Patients charity, the highest amount in the school, she said.
During that time, however, the class also had to deal with tragedy. An incoming second-grader has been diagnosed with cancer.
Makay'La's class won a free lunch provided by Olive Garden for raising the most money at the school, but she and her classmates have postponed that lunch until the new student arrives.
They also made T-shirts to welcome their new classmate.
Makay'La said she is dedicated to help others so families don't have to go through the agony of losing a loved one to cancer.
"She inspires me," Maranda said.