A 7-year-old Cornelius girl has been named a 2014 Community Hero by the Children’s Cancer Association. by: COURTESY PHOTO: MICHAEL SCHOENHOLTZ - Aaliyah Salgado Garcia is a Childrens Cancer Association Community Hero.

Aaliyah Salgado Garcia was selected for the award because of her exceptional courage, wisdom and grace in the face of serious medical challenges.

Aaliyah is being treated for anaplastic ependymoma, a rare blood disorder in which she must undergo multiple surgeries and daily radiation.

Despite her medical challenges, Aaliyah starts the day with a Wii dance party and often persuades her dad, Sergie, to dance along. A girl of many talents, Aaliyah loves to paint, play the guitar, bake and weave friendship bracelets for her pals.

Although she isn’t sure what she wants to be when she grows up, she knows she wants to help other children.

“I want to buy toys for sick kids,” she said. “That will make them feel better.”

CCA announces its list of Community Heroes — an exceptional group of 24 children and teens in Oregon and southwest Washington — who are nominated by the medical professionals and CCA program staff members who work closely with them and have seen their courage in the face of great obstacles.

The Community Heroes will be honored throughout the next 12 months with a Wall of Courage — a traveling display featuring portraits and bios of each honoree.

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