Two little girls built friendship while battling cancer together

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HOUSTON (WRIC) — Two little girls with cancer have formed a friendship while fighting the disease.

4-year-old Ava Garcia was diagnosed with cancer of the kidneys last August. Ava’s next door neighbor at Texas Children’s Hospital was 3-year-old Penny Smith. She was diagnosed with skeletal muscle cancer in May 2014.

Penny and Ava became friends while recovering from surgery together.  During their chemotherapy treatments, the two saw each other every week.

“It was like a play-date. Even though she was getting chemo, she was getting poked, it was stressful. It was easy going (to the hospital) knowing she was having fun,” said Cindy Sagan, Penny’s mother.

“It just made her more comfortable. She wasn’t scared because she looked like her,” added Ava’s mother, Christina Garcia, referring to when she lost her hair.

The two mothers wanted their daughters’ to celebrate remission together, but Penny’s health has gotten worse.

“Are we looking at months? No, you’re looking at weeks left with her,” Sagan said about a recent conversation with her Penny’s doctor.

Penny is now in hospice at her home and her mother Sagan takes care of her.

“They are best friends through tragedy but they found each other and they’re going to hold on to each other for as long as possible,” said Sagan.

“Penny got to enjoy enjoy having a best friend. Ava got to enjoy that and Penny will forever be in our hearts and we will always remember her,” Garcia said.

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