'Ava's Tribe' fights against cancer

Published: Aug. 1, 2018 at 6:00 PM CDT
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WINNEBAGO, Ill. (WIFR) -- The community is joining together to support a local little girl who recently found out she has bone cancer.

About two months ago, 8 and a half year old Ava Beck's world changed drastically.

"Ava is somebody that loves to be outside, she loves to swim, she loves to ride horses, and she likes to be with her friends. We chalked it up as her falling at school. She did have a bruise; she was still running around outside playing, swimming. We didn't think anything of it," said Nicole Macias, Ava Beck’s mother.

Significant pain led to a diagnosis of cancer, a tumor in her left leg. It weakened the bone causing a fracture.

"At first she was able to move around with the assistance of crutches, but once we had the break, they put a brace on her from her ankle up to her thigh and it's just getting harder," said Macias.

Ava began treatments in early July. The Winnebago and Pecatonica communities rallied behind her and her family. When chemotherapy took all her hair, a few friends shaved their heads in support.

"I felt bad because now she has to sit inside," said Elise Lange, Ava’s friend.

"We did it because now she's not in it alone having no hair," said Adelin Howald, Ava’s friend.

"I think so many people are all about themselves and so many people do care about their hair. I think this shows that it doesn't matter," said Katie Lange, Adelin’s mother and Nicole’s friend.

Community members offered words of encouragement through pictures on their driveways and sold "Ava's Tribe" t-shirts.

"To have love for my daughter, it helps to have a tribe behind you. I couldn't ask for a better community to be in at this point," said Macias.

Next week, Ava will have her third round of chemo. Doctors also found large nodules in her lungs and another cancerous spot in her right leg.

A GoFundMe account is set up under Ava Beck and you can follow her journey on the “Ava's Tribe” Facebook page.