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Gilbert brothers raise money in honor of their friend who died from cancer

Posted at 8:06 PM, May 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-05 23:06:15-04

GILBERT — Two young boys in Gilbert are getting ready for what they hope will be a very busy day Wednesday.

“It’s just nice to know that we’re helping people who are going through a tough time,” said 10-year-old Colin Webb.

Colin and his 8-year-old brother Charlie are honoring their friend Leighton Accardo. Leighton underwent countless surgeries and nearly two dozen rounds of chemotherapy in hopes of beating childhood cancer. Sadly, she lost her life at just 9 years old. A loss that had a profound impact on Colin and Charlie's lives.

“I just feel like it’s kind of sad that people pass away from cancer 'cause I feel like a lot of people do,” said Charlie.

After losing their friend, the two made a pledge to make a difference in the lives of those dealing with the daunting blow of that terrible disease. They're hosting a cotton candy drive to raise money for an organization playing an important role in the lives of those fighting for theirs.

“My son's classmate and friend passed away from cancer at the end of 2020 and Lighthouse for Hope was a really special foundation to her and continues to be special to her family now,” said Charlie and Colin’s mom Andrea.

That’s why every dollar raised is donated to the nonprofit that provides critical emotional and financial assistance to families across the nation.

“We’re selling cotton candy for $1 for Lighthouse for Hope which is like a place that helps kids or families with cancer,” said Charlie.

Last year, the event raised more than $1,600 and it didn’t take long for the community to show up once again, lining up in droves to hand over their money for this heartfelt cause.

“Even though we’re charging a dollar, people are super generous and will donate extra,” said Andrea.

The brothers say they have a simple fundraising goal this year.

“More than last year,” said Colin.

Through the kindness in their hearts and that in their neighbors, friends, and family, it’s a goal they’ll almost certainly reach. All in memory of a little girl taken far too soon.

“When people are going through hard things you feel kind of helpless and you can’t really do a whole lot to change what they’re going through, but we just felt like this was something we could do to make a little bit of a difference,” said Andrea.