FORT VALLEY, Ga. — When going in for a doctors visit, no parents ever expects to hear the words, "your child has cancer", but for the Stephens family, the words came twice.
In 2008, three-year-old Jamiya Stephens was diagnosed with brain cancer.
"Its unexplainable, it was hard," says mother Carla Stephens.
Carla Stephens says she died 8 months after her diagnoses, and shortly after came more bad news.
"After probably a little over a year, our middle daughter Carleesia, who was ten at the time, was also diagnosed with cancer....We all were still grieving Jamiya, so it was tough," says Stephens.
Carleesia survived her battle to Hodgkin's Lymphoma, but every year since Jamiya's death the family chooses to honor their children through fundraising.
The families has a name fund under Jay's HOPE Foundation, Carlee & Miya's Wings of Hope.
This years Wings of Hope event, a 'Que for the Cause.
The family sold chicken plates, ribs, and various desserts.
"This helps me cope. This mission, this cause, helping other children. Just because my child past away, I still want to help other children who are fighting the same disease," Stephens adds.
Understanding the struggle, Carla says she wants to help families who are fighting the same disease.
"The last thing the parents need to worry about is how they're going to pay their bills, or how their gonna get gas to take their children to treatments," Stephens says.
They also fundraise to find a cure, which was lacking during Jamiya's diagnosis.
Stephens says, "It's just a very small percentage that is given to researching childhood cancer, and I want that to change. To watch these babies fight for their lives....its heart breaking."
She says although more research has been put into Jamiya's type of tumor, more can be done.
"It's just a very small percentage that is given to researching childhood cancer, and I want that to change. To watch these babies fight for their lives...its heart breaking," she adds.
The family plans to keep fundraising for years to come.
"My children's fight will not be in vain as long as I have breath in my body. I will do this every September," Stephens says.
This year, their goal is to raise $10,000 to childhood cancer awareness this month.
At their 'Que for the Cause' they raised $1,900.
All money goes towards their Wings of Hope fund, that helps other families navigating childhood cancer.
If you want to help the Stephens reach their goal you can Cashapp Carla at $Jamiya23.
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