North Medford High senior gives back to a local child with cancer

KTVL / Jennevieve Fong

North Medford High School student Talia Baker decided to focus her senior class project on giving back. As a member of the Sparrow Club, Baker organized a basketball fundraiser for an honorary sparrow three-year-old Merleah who is battling leukemia.

From buying a local newspaper advertisement to putting up posters around school, Baker dedicated weeks in preparation for the fundraiser. With both admissions costs and raffle ticket sales, Baker raised about $300 at Saturday's fundraiser.

“I just thought it would be such a cool idea to help someone I don’t know personally," Baker said. "I obviously feel for her because I have a two-year-old niece and I thought it would be so hard to have a family member go through all of that."

Baker said Merleah’s older sister is a current sophomore at North Medford High School. However, she said she also felt a personal connection to Merleah after learning about her story at a school assembly.

"She is such a young, beautiful girl," Baker said. "I can’t imagine what her family goes through.”

Baker said she would like younger students to carry on the fundraiser as a new tradition to help other families in the future.

There is a GoFundMe page set up to help Merleah and her family in their time of need.

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