COLUMBIA COUNTY, GA (WFXG) - A sewing machine, that's the tool 14 year old Ava Uhles uses to make a difference.
After her mother was diagnosed a year ago with stage 3 breast cancer, she knew she wanted to help others fighting the disease.
"It's really hard seeing someone you love go through what my mom went through. And so I just really wanted to give back to people that are going through that," Ava explained.
That's what inspired Ava to start making and selling pillowcases. She donates the money she makes from the pillowcases to multiple cancer organizations across the CSRA.
"I want it to stay local just because the people whenever my mom got sick, our friends and family and community came together to help her, and I wanted to give back to the people that were there for us," Ava said.
Joanne Uhles, Ava's Mother, explained, "I mean when you first get diagnosed, you know its very scary. You don't know what the journey is going to look like. But the amount of support that the community gave us, it's very humbling,"
In the last 6 months since she started Ava's raised over $2,300 for Miracle Mile and Press On. Her next donation is going to Augusta's Camp Rainbow.
Ava says staying strong through a loved one's fight is key.
"You get through it. There were nights where I'd cry, or we'd all cry together. But it gets easier," Ava said.
Ava's parents couldn't be prouder of their 9th graders strength and determination to help others.
"So it just really makes me feel great that she found a positive out of something that was very hard for her to deal with. And that it's going to have an impact on her local community. I'm proud of her," Joanne said.
You can find her selling the pillowcases at cancer awareness events around town- or her Facebook page Positive Pillows.
In her free time Ava also plays guitar and volunteers with a special needs dance class. Joanne is finishing chemo is and is now cancer free.