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The area of Brownsville has long had the unfortunate reputation as one of the most violent and impoverished areas in a rapidly gentrifying Brooklyn, N.Y.

However, plenty of good has come from the neighborhoods as well.

Because of the sweet dedication of an assistant principal who works in the area, a young girl whose family is homeless will hopefully have the money to pay for surgery she requires as a result of a cancer diagnosis.

Brownsville Collaborative Middle School student Mia Blount, 11, urgently needs an operation because she’s outgrown a metal rod that doctors used to replace her cancerous leg bone, reports the New York Daily News.

“It hurts when I go up and down the stairs at my school,” said the girl, who uses crutches to get around despite being told by doctors that she’d never leave a wheelchair.

“When I get to the top of the steps, I’m hot and tired. And most of the trains don’t have elevators either,” she added.

Mia was diagnosed with bone cancer in April 2015, while living with her family in Charlotte, N.C. By May 2016, she had beaten the disease into remission with the help of chemotherapy and two surgeries.

Her mom, Shameeka Williams, who has a degree in criminal justice, lost her job as a security guard and the family lost their home. They currently live in a single room in a high-rise shelter with her mom and two siblings. Though thankfully, Mia’s bone cancer is in remission, her good leg is 2 inches longer than the other.

Mia’s favorite teacher, Assistant Principal Nyesha Shade started a GoFundMe page to raise money for the girl’s surgery and recovery. She had already pitched in to make sure that she had healthy food (Mia dropped to a mere 45 pounds after one of her surgeries) and clean uniforms.

It’s been hard on Mia and her mom, so I’m doing what I can to help,” said Shade, a 15-year city educator. “My goal is to make sure she’s OK in the long run.”

So far, the fundraiser has raised more than $3,600 of a $50,000 goal. Its purpose, according to the page:

Mom will use the funds to assist with getting the family out of the shelter system and moving back down south where Mia can return to the hospital and doctors she is familiar with. The environment will be more conducive to her healing process. The funds will also assist the family with any expenses (i.e. food, clothing, housing, travel, or medical expenses) associated with the surgery and the healing Mia will need.”

Williams said she is so thankful for Shade and others who have rallied behind her daughter.

“It’s amazing,” said Williams, 35. “I did not expect the support we have gotten. If Mia’s school hadn’t stepped in, I don’t know where we would be right now.

Though the News reports that Mia’s leg is still hurting her and she is still having trouble getting around on her crutches, she enjoys being an inspiration for other young cancer survivors.

“It makes me feel good,” Mia said.

Source: New York Daily News

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