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GULF SHORES, Ala. (WALA) — Ankitha Valdez is a fun-loving girl who was adopted from India when she was 2 years old.

“She’s just got a big personality of her own,” said her father Christopher Valdez. “She just likes to have fun.”

Ankitha, already diagnosed with a vision impairment, soon received another diagnosis.

“The diagnosis was a rare one. This stage 4 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma,” added Valdez.

Local charity raises funds for Ankitha Valdez

An emotional moment for two new parents.

“Especially after experiencing the high of being connected and matched with our daughter and bringing her home and enjoying her lively personality to realizing wow this is going to be a long journey and road ahead,” said Valdez.

Just last year, Ankitha received another diagnosis. Bare lymphocyte syndrome, a rare immune disorder. It was during this time her family really came together.

“Throughout that journey, they really really connected and she learned that she can rely on us and depend on us and I think there was really this confidence and comfort to really express herself,” said Valdez.

Ankitha is now in remission and has even started going to school. Now Kaysheri Haffner and Helping Hands in Gulf Shores is stepping up to help. The goal is $6,000.

“The medical bills stack up really quickly and it’s hard to keep track of this stuff so we want to bring in as much as we can to help out the family,” said Haffner.

Kaysherri hopes to meet the Valdez family in person soon, but the bond they’ve already created is life-changing.

“It feels amazing knowing you can make a slight difference in their life and make things a little easier for them,” said Haffner.

“The word pride comes to mind for her, for young women, for my daughter that’s there’s something to emulate and something to aspire to be,” said Valdez.

If you want to help Ankitha and her family, Helping Hands will be having a silent auction and donation drive on Friday, February 4th at Big Beach Brewery in Gulf Shores from 2:00 pm-7:00 pm.

If you’re unable to make it you can also go to any PNC Bank and donate to the Ankitha Valdez Donation Drive. They are accepting any cash or check donations no matter how large or small.

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