Basin 3-year-old inspires thousands amid tough medical battle


ODESSA, Texas (Nexstar) – Marlee Munguia has a smile that will light up the room.

Just like any kid, she has a full life ahead of her. But what some don’t know is Marlee has neuroblastoma, a cancer that grows from developing nerve cells.

Marlee is taking it head on, with chemotherapy at Cook Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth.

“She really brightens our day when it might not be so bright, so it’s been amazing to see what a 3-year-old girl can do and how strong and brave she can be,” said Mason Munguia.

Mason Munguia is Marlee’s dad. He is also a baseball and football coach at Permian High School in Odessa.

He says the Facebook support group, “Marlee Strong,” was started to keep friends and family informed about Marlee’s progress.

“It’s sort of taken on a whole new thing with how big it’s gotten,” Munguia said.

With nearly 2,000 members on Facebook, the group also does much more. It helps give others hope.

“I think it inspires people,” Munguia said. “I think people look at a 3-year-old girl with what she’s faced with and are inspired by how strong she is, how brave she is.”

The group doesn’t just raise awareness about Marlee’s cause, but also money for her treatments.

A trailer was raffled off. A cornhole contest was held. Marlee-Strong MOJO t-shirts are being sold. In May, a bike ride called, “Miles for Marlee” will be held.

“She definitely keeps mom and dad going for sure,” Mason Mungia said.

You can find the Marlee Strong group on Facebook here.

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