MIAMI (CBS4) – As a Hialeah firefighter and paramedic, Yoan Perez is trained to save lives and help others. So when his niece was diagnosed with cancer; he knew he had to help her.
“She’s just a little fighter being as high spirits as she can be,” Perez said of his niece, Victoria Canoto, 3, “a young little girl doing her best to see if she can fight this disease.”
Perez said three-year-old Victoria has already had several blood transfusions. So to make sure Victoria had access to the blood she needed, Yoan asked his fire department to help organize a blood drive.
“It’s been a little rough; but we’re coming together and fighting,” Yoan said. “We have a lot of people giving us support and love as you can see lot of people in the community coming out and helping out.”
Luz Mieles was in town on Vacation, but came to the blood drive after hearing Victoria’s story.
“I told my brother, ‘we got to go donate blood and I did and we were the same type,’” Mieles told CBS4’s Maggie Newland.
Little Victoria was excited to hear about the blood drive.
“She was smiling,” Perez said. “She called me on the phone and she was really happy.”
And in the end, for Perez, that happiness will keep him happy and hopefully make many people have a happy holidays.
“I’m doing my best to be positive; keep my whole family’s spirits up,” Perez said. “She’s a fighter; so she gives me energy when I see her smiling and playing considering everything the medication she’s going through it keeps me in good hopes.”