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High School Senior With Terminal Cancer Helps Raise Money For Others Battling Illnesses

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) - A Sacramento high school senior diagnosed with terminal cancer is using her uncertain future to spread happiness.

A celebration fit for a hero sent a parade of police through a Land Park with lights flashing honoring Samantha Dacong better known as "Sammie".

"I didn't realize how much love and support I was getting," said Dacong.

Dozens of friends and family came to support the 18-year-old who was first diagnosed with osteosarcoma in 2012. The next year, Make-A-Wish sent her to Disney World. Ever since then, Sammie has been paying it forward granting other people's wishes.

"I barely turned 18 and I already had to go through a lot of tough situations that children shouldn't be dealing with. But I told myself there are others out there that need it too. I want to spread that story, don't worry you are not alone," she said.

Sammie beat cancer once but was diagnosed with a second type of cancer, this time rhabdomyosarcoma.  Last weekend doctors informed her its turned terminal, spreading to her brain.

"One more last thing before I go and I was hoping I could fundraise another child's wish, she said. "I always get feeling that they got the joy they needed. I can relate to that," said Sammie.

In just a day Sammie raised more than $22,000 thousand dollars, enough to grant multiple wishes, according to Debbie Hurst at Make-A-Wish Foundation of Northern California and Northern Nevada.

"It inspires all of us to even do more with all of our families of Make-A-Wish children and we see the impact," Hurst explained.

Through tears of sadness and joy community members, friends and family say Sammie is impacting more than just the people she helps grant wishes for.

"She is so inspiring to me, I know I'm 58-years-old but I hope I can meet my later years in life with the grace," said friend, Susan Tucker.

High school friend Mia Mascarinas said she is amazed at Sammie's strength.

"It's just really amazing how she is already struggling and she is still so selfless and thinking of others," she explained.

While still praying for a miracle, Sammie's dad, Steven, said he is in awe of how many lives his daughter has already impacted.

"She is terminal and she is worried about everybody else. We are just so proud of her and you can't teach that. She has just been our angel since day one," he explained.

She's an angel here on earth, who, despite her own diagnoses, wants to give as much time as she has left to others.

"I don't know what's going to happen but all I'm thinking is you know, keep going," Sammie explained.

Make-A-Wish estimates donations raised by Sammie will help at least another two kids battling critical illnesses.  Sammie is still short of her $30,000 goal. If you would like to help reach her goal you can donate directly to Make-A-Wish.

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