OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - I've never met Sophia Mohler, but she's been on my mind and in my prayers this week.
She's the seven-year-old daughter of David and Theresa Mohler of Ocean Springs who own the famous Tato Nut doughnut shop.
Sophia has been diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer and is currently undergoing treatment.
The doughnut shop has been closed for the past month or so, as her family members are concentrating on Sophia's health care.
In recent days, the Ocean Springs community has rallied behind Sophia and the Mohler family.
You see, the Mohler family has long been a pillar of the Ocean Springs community. They're well known for their strong work ethic, caring attitude and unwavering faith.
Now the community that's benefited so much over the years from the efforts of this family, is returning the favor. There is growing support around town, as people do whatever they can to help Sophia and her family.
You may have seen a pair of wonderful stories my colleague Trang Pham Bui did this week about Sophia and her family.
St. Alphonsus School, where Sophia is a second grader, has done much to help the Mohler family and raise awareness about how others might help. I know many of her classmates and teachers have helped organize fund raisers and special events to help Sophia.
St. Patrick High School sold "Sophia prayer bracelets" as both a fund raiser and a reminder to keep this precious child in their prayers.
The community response that I've seen building in Ocean Springs is one of the main reasons I chose this place for me and my family to call our hometown.
I'd like to join the event organizers in inviting you to "walk the bridge" on Saturday, October 17th. It's a fund raising effort for Sophia Mohler and her family. Just show up to walk or run or bike the Biloxi Ocean Springs bridge between seven in the morning and noon on Saturday.
I'd also encourage you to make a contribution to help Sophia's family as they struggle with mounting medical bills and living expenses as family members travel to and from Texas to be with this child.
Cancer is often a heart breaker; especially when it involves our children. I find myself thinking of my only child, a now 21-year-old daughter. I remember those wonderful days when she was an energetic, playful, innocent and sometimes precocious seven year old.
I can't help but think it could have been my child.
Please join me in keeping Sophia Mohler in your thoughts and prayers. And, if you can, I'd love to see you at the bridge on Saturday morning.