Cancer survivor raffles 'gift baskets' to help others

6:46 PM, Nov 9, 2012   |    comments
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AMHERST -- Inside the Zichi home, the dining room has turned into a warehouse of gift baskets.

They're used to this from June through the end of November.

WKYC's Monica Robins first introduced us to Emily Zichi and her family five years ago. Emily was 7 and just starting her battle with leukemia, and her family was collecting toys for other kids at Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital.

Now Emily is 12. The cancer is gone, but her passion for helping other kids is not.

This is the sixth year for the family's fundraiser called "Emily's Hopeful Holiday." More than 60 baskets were donated this year and more than $60,000 raised over the years.

And because of that, Emily now feels her fight with cancer was almost a blessing.

Emily's mom, Laura, also a cancer survivor, has created a website and Facebook page to to bring in even more donations.

As long as there's a need, the Zichis will be here.

They feel that the more money they raise for Emily's Hopeful Holiday, the more families they can help.

They said the money can't run out. They've got to do this every year because if that money runs out, they can't help these families.

And the little girl, who we first met five years ago wearing the elf hat, and who's now almost a teenager, won't stop either.

She said, "I feel like God gave me a second chance at life for a reason, to inspire people. Even though I went through a lot, I know a lot of kids have it worse than I do."

WKYC-TV

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