Seven-year-old organizes fundraiser for friend diagnosed with leukemia

LITTLE ROCK (KATV) - A community came out to support a little boy diagnosed with leukemia.

And a seven-year-old girl shows us age doesn't matter when you put your mind to helping others.

"I wanted to help make a difference and give back to my community," said Mariya Baker.

At the first Summer Youth Jam, folks turned out to support one very special little boy.

4-year-old Ayden Gillespie was diagnosed with leukemia last year. He is now in remission but there are mounting medical bills.

That's where 7-year-old Mariya Baker came in after seeing a flyer for team Ayden.

"She said, 'Mom what does c-a-n-c-e-r spell?," said Theresa Baker, Mariya's mother.

After an explanation from mom, Mariya decided she needed to help and together they put together a fundraiser.

"Since then, Mariya and Ayden has kind of created a bond, a really good friendship," said Baker.

Through donations at Saturday's fashion show in the gym at Shorter College, Mariya and team Ayden raised $500, which will go toward his medical bills.

Ayden's grandmother says it's hopefully the start of a normal life for Ayden.

And Mariya says she wants to continue to raise awareness about leukemia. So she and Ayden can be friends for years to come.

"I wanted him to stay alive until he's a teenager and a grownup," said Mariya.