This is an exceptionally cool story that could be told a number of ways. The bottom line is an 18-year-old high school boy in Concord is trying to change the life of an 11-year-old girl fighting brain cancer.
David Riley plays football and baseball at Cannon School in Concord. All seniors have to do a year-long project. It can be about virtually anything. David chose childhood cancer awareness.
David calls his project, “Angel in the Outfield”. He named it after Angel Thompson.
I first featured Angel in 2013 when she was 9 years old. This past month marked the sixth year she's battled a brain tumor.
David’s dad, Cabarrus County Sheriff Brad Riley, has involved David in community events throughout his life. David was first introduced to Angel a few years ago through Hometown Heroes.
“Something just clicked when I met her,” David tells me. “I’ve kept up with her ever since, and she keeps up with me. She attends many of my games, rain or shine, no matter the sport. I’m proud to call her one of my friends.”
Pretty awesome thing to hear a young guy say, but what he said next was even better.
“Because of Angel I started researching childhood cancer,” he said. “I learned that despite being the leading cause of disease in children under 15 in the United States, it’s consistently underfunded and under-researched. I want to try and help the kids like Angel who spend their childhoods getting chemo, losing their hair and going to weekly doctor appointments. It’s not fair.”
In an effort to raise awareness, David organized a Walk-a-Thon. It was last weekend and a lot of people showed. He ran the whole show.
Since the start of his project, David has raised over $3,000. All this because of his vision to help an 11-year-old girl.
“I just want to celebrate Angel,” he said. “She makes a difference in my life. I want to make a difference in hers.”
Mission accomplished, David. The pictures say it all.
No matter how much you ultimately raise, you’re already making her feel like a million bucks.
**Editor’s note: This is about one of #MollysKids, children WBTV Anchor Molly Grantham follows closely on her Facebook page. It was first published there – which is why it’s written in a personal way. For years Molly has followed hundreds of kids with uphill medical battles. Find this story and updates on all #MollysKids here.**