1/13/2013 6:31 PM
by Karen Franklin
HINTON - Friends and family of a 9-year-old girl hosted a fundraiser at a Hinton Catholic Church Sunday to help raise money for her cancer treatments.
Ellie Rhodes was diagnosed with Leukemia around Christmas time.
"Ellie is a unique little girl," said her godmother, Kayla Gunnoe. "She is full of spirit. She has tons of friends."
Those friends and hundreds of others hosted a fundraiser at St. Patrick's Catholic Church to donate to the Rhodes family.
"It's a very difficult time that these families go through, and whatever we can do as a community to help them -- it just takes some of that burden away from them," said family friend, Josh Houchins.
Ellie's family agrees. It says the community's presence has had a huge impact on them.
"It's a strong community, and I think that if Ellie knows that the community has her back, I think it'll really help her," her cousin, Russell Scott, said.
But although Ellie is not alone, the cancer struggle is all too familiar to the family.
Ellie's own mother battled cancer, but friends and family say that will only help the 9-year-old beat the disease herself.
"That has been an inspiration for Ellie," Gunnoe said. "She's been a real trooper with all the treatments she's undertaken because she knows how hard her mother fought, and Ellie's going to be the same way."
The family is asking for only one thing.
"To pray for Ellie that she'll be able to beat it and stay strong and positive as she has," Scott said.
Parishoners believe the fundraiser will exceed their $3,000 goal.