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Miami School Comes Together To Help Classmate In Need

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MIAMI (CBS4) – As a former cheerleader, Melanie Garcia is used to cheering on her school’s teams, but now her school mates are cheering for her.

“I don’t know what I’d do without them,” Garcia told CBS4’s Nicole Maristany.

The 14 year old started aggressive treatment for leukemia last September and it’s been a long road since.

“We have to go to the hospital a lot and the emergency room and a lot of needles and a lot of blood transfusions,” explained Garcia.

Her pediatric oncologist, Dr. Guillermo DeAngulo from Miami Children’s Hospital explained some of the challenges his patient has faced.

“The treatment lasts from about two to three years, and its chemotherapy and the first 6-9 months is really intense,” said DeAngulo.

Despite the difficulties Dr. DeAngulo says her prognosis is good.

“The good news about leukemia is that its very curable, cure rates are about 95 percent,” explained DeAngulo.

Now wearing fake eyelashes and a wig, Melanie’s friends and family have rallied around her, hosting fundraisers to help cover medical costs.

“It’s very expensive not just with the hospital visit and the medications, but unfortunately cancer doesn’t have a pause button and life continues and there are bills for the family to pay,” said DeAngulo.

Wednesday, April 20th her school, St. Brenden’s in Miami will host a special event in her honor. “All the food trucks are coming to my school and all my 8th grade friends are helping out,” Garcia shared excitedly.

“She needs her friends to lean on; she needs people to support her,” said DeAngulo.

All the support inspired Melanie to continue her fight and share the lessons she’s learned along the way with others.

“I’m not going to take anything for granted,” said Garcia tearily.

The fundraising event takes place, Wednesday, April 13 • 5:30pm – 10:00pm at the St Brendan Elementary Field, located at 8755 Southwest 32nd Street in Miami.

To make a donation to help Melanie’s family through the Neighbors 4 Neighbors Family Fund visit neighbors4neighbors.org or call 305-597-4404.

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