Basketball games are much bigger than they used to be for a boy in Fort Worth.
Every basket 9-year-old Gabriel Starling makes means a donation in the fight against breast cancer.
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"Because no kid should ever be without a mama," is what he told his mom, Gloria Starling, a managing partner at The Capital Grille.
A year ago, Starling learned her friend was fighting breast cancer.
She gently told Gabriel what cancer is and what it does.
Minutes later, Gabriel had an idea to help.
"He came up to me with all the coins from his piggy bank and said, 'Mommy, can you give this to Emily to help her find a cure for cancer?'" Starling said.
Emily McLaughlin is a well-known plastic surgeon in town. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2016. She went through surgery and recovery.
She was declared cancer-free and then launched into a new mission to find a cure.
McLaughlin organized a fundraiser for the non-profit Cancer Care Services, and that's how Gabriel found out about his mom's cancer-fighting friend and emptied his piggy bank.
"He had never met Emily. He wanted to help her. Then they met and the energy between them is indescribable," Starling wrote. "He loves her smile. She loves his hair. The list goes on and on. What I love about both? Their loving hearts and the desire to help and give back."
Which is what Gabriel is doing now on the basketball court. He is donating $5 for every basket he scores at his games.
So far, this sweet child has raised $5,000 on behalf of his mom's friend and for Fort Worth-based Cancer Care Services.
He is so motivated, he's now pushed his goal to $10,000 and vowed to donate $100 per basket at every basketball game.
"I am going to have to get a second job," joked Starling.
A Go Fund Me campaign will also help Gabriel get to his goal and fund a mission to find a cure for cancer so no kid will "ever be without a mama."
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