A 9 Year-old Girl Inspires $240,000 of Giving to Make-a-Wish

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Gabriella Miller, a 9-year-old 4th grader from Leesburg Virginia, started getting headaches just a few short weeks ago and then the side of her face started to droop. An MRI revealed the unthinkable, an inoperable brain tumor but little Gabriella, a warrior with the courage of a lion, refuses to give up on herself or anyone else who has been diagnosed with cancer.

Her tumor has qualified her for a trip to Paris, France this spring through the Make a Wish Foundation. It is looking forward to that trip that has been getting her through the dark days of chemo and radiation for a 9-year-old. Gabriella wants to give back and pay it forward to others with cancer and her movement began.

Gabriella knew that Macy’s department store donates a $1 to make a Wish Foundation for every letter to Santa that they receive and she made it her mission to raise $10,000.

Soon after starting her movement, a Facebook page was created for Gabriella’s Make a Wish challenge and then letters to Santa started pouring in from all over the world from people who wanted to help Gabriella reach her challenge of 10,000 letters and soon 10,000 became $50,000 and then $100,00. In the end, Gabriella Miller earned $240,983 for the Make a Wish Foundation.

This little girl is amazing in so many ways. To be so philanthropic and caring at such a young age is impressive. The fact that she can even think to be so selfless at a time when she is right in the thick of her own treatment, a time when most people could not see past their own diagnosis because they are still trying to process what it means, this little girl is seeing the bigger picture; a feat even most adults could not do when newly diagnosed with cancer.

Gabriella Miller is a hero to many and should inspire us all to be better and do more. She has made me take inventory and consider what I can do to help more. What can I do to teach my girls to give more, to care about other people?

It is difficult when you are dealing with little people because they are not selfish but they are not old enough to see outside of their circle of influence. If you can relate it to someone or something they know, it’s more real to them.

I’ve always had special place in my heart for the Make a Wish foundation, St. Jude Children’s hospital and the Leukemia foundation because I have a personal connection to these causes from when my nephew was diagnosed with cancer at age 3. He just turned 17 and is a thriving junior in high school who is looking forward to college, girlfriends and driving and our family owes these foundations for his life. My daughters know this and even though it happened many years before they were born, they know that we donate and support these causes.

The best way I have found to teach our girls to give back and be philanthropic is by leading by example and education. I hope this is something that they will carry throughout their life because there is fulfillment in giving.

How will you get your kids involved in giving back as a goal in the New Year?

Image via Flickr [wishIllinois]

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A 9 Year-old Girl Inspires $240,000 of Giving to Make-a-Wish

Deborah Cruz, @TruthfulMommy, is the creator of The TRUTH about Motherhood, an often humorous and brutally honest look at motherhood. She's a writer, a wife, and a work-at-home Mommy who's trying to do it all well. She live in the Midwest with her 2 little girls and her husband. She has a lot of degrees from a bunch of schools but mostly spends her days shuttling people under the age of 7, while trying to maintain her sanity and she wouldn't have it any other way. She talks a lot. She ... More

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