Corpus Christi (KIII News) — Just years after her death, people in the Coastal Bend continue to support Brooke's Blossoming Hope, a pediatric cancer organization founded by Brooke Hester.
Hester passed away from neuroblastoma in 2016. Before her passing, Hester founded the organization to raise awareness and money for childhood cancer.
This year, the group will host their first golf tournament on Sept. 21.
Saniya Washington and Luis Leal are a part of the organization and the fight against cancer. Washington was diagnosed with a type of cancer that is treated like Leukemia last year. At 12-years-old, she has been through a lot.
"I didn't even know what cancer was at that point," Saniya said.
The track runner and dancer recalled the day she was diagnosed.
"My mom she was like sad and I didn't know what was happening," Saniya said.
From there on, Saniya went through treatment and chemotherapy. Recently she recieved some fantastic news -- doctors estimate she will be done with treatment in January 2020.
Alongside Saniya is Luis Leal. The 11-year-old has a tumor in one of his thighs. His mother, Crystal Leal, said eventually the cancer spread from his leg to his lungs, seventh rib and spine. However, the scary diagnosis doesn't phase Luis.
"I wasn't sad because I knew I was going to get through this!" Luis said.
Both Saniya and Luis's parents have been by their sides throughout the entire journey. Crystal Walker, Saniya's mom, found out she was pregnant just two weeks after the devastating diagnosis.
"It was a little hard to be excited about the pregnancy because we were still kind of trying to understand what was going on and our new lifestyle that was about to take place," Walker said.
Yet, with a smile and positive attitudes, both kids have managed to pull through.
"Just to keep my head up, keep the smile on my face," Luis said, when asked how he fights.
"He's a fighter. He's a very, very big fighter," Luis's mom said.
Now, both families are joining a nationwide battle against cancer. They said it's severely underfunded and under-researched, which is why they're a part of Brooke's Blossoming Hope.
For other children facing the battle, these kids have some advice.
"They can do it, just stay strong and have positive thinking," Saniya said.
"Keep your head up, don't let nothing put you down!"
There is still time to sign up for the golf tournament. Organizers want to extend an invitation to families and children who are facing the fight against cancer, to the banquet after.
Find out more information here.
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