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Cool Kid helps parents comfort sick children

September 29, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
When children are fighting serious illnesses in Southern California hospitals, many of those patients and their families get help from a very special young lady.

Gretta Czarnocki is a "Cool Kid" who is raising money for Ronald McDonald House Charities. The House is a place where parents can stay close to their children while they are treated for cancer and other illnesses.

Gretta has personal reasons for helping.

"My grandma died of cancer when I was about 3 years old, and then my mom's coworker had cancer twice, actually, and then another close family friend had cancer," said Gretta.

To help the House with its great work, Gretta is collecting pull-tabs, which are recycled for money. And she has recruited others to her cause.

"People bring them to me, bags full, buckets full. My dad's friends actually collect them. My mom's friends and coworkers collect them," said Gretta.

Gretta knows the children might be scared and will want their parents nearby. She wants to make sure that can happen.

"I could do something to help everybody, to help the families, to help the kids, for the kids to have somebody close near them," said Gretta.

Gretta is a 16-year-old sophomore at Quartz Hill High School. She has been collecting pull-tabs since she was in 4th grade. And she is not stopping now.

"No, I want to keep on doing it, and let my family and friends know that I'm going to keep on doing it. Because kids at school now know. So hopefully they will bring me their tops and I can keep on getting more and more," said Gretta.

Gretta Czarnocki is a cool kid who has pulled together her family and friends to keep other families together when they most need to be.

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