Updated 06/30/2009 08:20 AM
Teen puts birthday money toward cancer research
CAMILLUS, N.Y. -- Abby Hoag and her friends are having a good time. But, even though it's not noticeable, there's sadness, too, for the death of a friend, Heather Weeks.
"The memories of Heather come back. I just remember this beautiful girl flowing across the stage and you could always see all of the little girls just staring at her," said Abby's dad, Kip Flegler-Hoag.
Abby was one of those girls, who was moved by her first dance teacher.
"She's the person you knew after you saw her one time. She just left a mark. She was the nicest person ever," Abby said.
Heather was diagnosed with colon cancer last June. Just 24 years old, she spent her last few months raising awareness about another form of the disease, ovarian cancer.
"When she died in November, my husband and I and her fiancée, Jesse, decided we would take on her mission of spreading the word about ovarian cancer. And we now have our own foundation," said Heather's mom Frieda Weeks.
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Heather's foundation, Hope for Heather, is just getting started. And some of its first dollars are coming from Abby's 13th birthday party.
"She said 'I would rather do a birthday party but I want donations to go to the ovarian cancer society because of Heather.' And it made us very, very proud of her to do that," Flegler-Hoag said.
"The fact that Abby has the maturity at this age to think so far ahead to help other people is an amazing thing," Weeks said.
Abby says she was affected by Heather's death.
"I was very upset about it. I thought she was too young, too nice of a person to be taken away from the world," she said.
And Abby says she hopes her small donation can start to help others from being taken by cancer.
"I do. I hope," she said.
Anyone who wants to learn more about Heather Weeks can visit her memorial website, hopeforheather.com.