Florida Girl Fights Cancer With a Kite
Eleven-year-old Cassidy Gonzalez was in high spirits, by all accounts – even when her kite was flying low.
“All of my friends are flying kites,” she said in an interview with the Tampa, Florida, Tribune. “It’s neat to see.”
Two-and-a-half years ago, Cassidy was just a regular kid – a kid who loves school, softball, horseback riding, cooking and dance.
Then she found out she had a rare form of cancer.
“My friends sent (me) countless letters of encouragement and love, (plus) big banners and care packages of games and goodies,” she said earlier this year, in an interview with Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine.
She also said her parents never left her side.
“I was never in the fight alone,” she told the magazine’s founder, Angela Ardolino.
Now, after chemotherapy and radiation treatments, Cassidy says she’s cancer-free.
So last month, she grabbed a kite and flew it along with other kids from her school – Trinity School in Tampa – at a fundraiser for Tampa’s Children’s Cancer Center.
About 700 kids participated, according to Tribune reporter Rob Shaw.
“It makes me feel good,” Cassidy told him, “because all of them are helping.”
Last year, Cassidy’s school reportedly raised $14,000 for the cancer center.
The kids hoped to raise at least as much this year.
“It’s amazing that everyone is doing this,” said Trinity sixth-grader Diego Pradera – a cancer survivor himself, according to the Tribune.
“It feels really good to know that you can help them out,” fellow Trinity student Regan O’Leary told Tampa TV station WTSP.
“She couldn’t have gotten through her cancer without this family here at school,” said Cassidy’s mom, Yvette Gonzalez, in an interview with the Tribune. “She came to school bald and they never looked at her twice.”
One important thing that Cassidy says she has learned is this: “Be yourself.”
“Don’t let people talk you into doing or being something you’re not,” she told Ardolino.
She also had some other advice for kids – especially kids who have cancer: “Never give up!”
“Be happy you are living another day,” she said.