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Bowling Green HS cheerleader dedicates special night to girl battling brain cancer

All cheerleaders wore yellow bows for childhood cancer awareness.

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio — A Bowling Green High School cheerleader is taking it upon herself to encourage a little girl fighting brain cancer. 

She got the student body at Friday night's football game to rally for Gracie Barnes. The Bobcats dedicated the game to the 3-year-old. 

"Came out of the blue and she had a very large brain surgery," said David Barnes, Gracie's father. "And now she's going through chemo and every day has its challenges. And we just try to take it one day at a time. And rely on our faith and friends. And Jesus is carrying us."

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David is here to take it all in for Gracie, who is in the hospital and couldn't attend. The whole night was planned by Emilia Esposito who learned of Gracie through her neighbor. 

"She is our neighbor's niece. And when I found out, I was just kind of like, 'You know they need some cheer in their lives right now,'" Esposito said. "So we came together and we came up with these really cool ideas to incorporate into tonight's game."

They included everything from the cheerleaders wearing yellow bows for childhood cancer awareness to a special cheer for Gracie, and a break-through sign with a yellow ribbon. 

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"It's been a great opportunity to see the community support for Gracie and for our family," Barnes said. "And them reaching out to us in a difficult time. And BG's really showing a lot of support."

Esposito says it's all to shed hope and light into a difficult situation. 

"I felt the community really just should get in on this," he said. "Just to help her out. I think the family just kinda needs that little boost of happiness. And I think it's important to get involved through that. And just so the community can be aware of her situation and we can all keep her in our thoughts."

September marks Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

Gracie was unable to be at the game Friday night, but her father says the family will find a way to show her this video.

"It's hard to express what this means to us. We have the support we have here from family, friends and community is. We could never thank everybody enough. And it's hard really to communicate without getting choked up. But we're really grateful," said Barnes. 

You can visit this website to learn more about Gracie's story.