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Published January 25, 2012, 06:14 PM

Petersburg Girl Keeps Best Friend's Spirit Alive in Fight for a Cure

PETERSBURG, ND (WDAZ-TV) - A year after a 14-year-old Grand Forks girl dies of Leukemia, her best friend keeps her memory alive fighting for a cure.

By: Adam Ladwig, WDAZ

PETERSBURG, ND (WDAZ-TV) - A year after a 14-year-old Grand Forks girl dies of Leukemia, her best friend keeps her memory alive fighting for a cure.

Ali Borgen and Farrah Heitkamp were two peas in a pod.

"Ali's my best friend, and she's really fun, and always fun to be

around and funny and stuff", Farrah says.

The Dakota Prairie High School freshman used her FCCLA project this year to honor her friend with Smile Wide Week. Ali fought Leukemia for four years, and throughout that struggle, her goal was to smile wide every day. It's the memory of that loving girl that convinced Farrah to take action.

She says, "I really wanted to do something to help and help the causes and stuff, and I really missed her one day and I just wanted to do something."

She wanted to raise awareness of childhood cancer, but months of planning turned her simple message into something more.

Dakota Prairie FCCLA Advisor Jennifer Barney explains, "We started, actually last September with her project, and it evolved into some new things, not exactly what she envisioned in the beginning."

Today Farrah stood up in front of her entire school and told Ali's courageous story, while asking people to spread awareness of the disease that claimed her.

Her and some classmates are selling pins to raise money for cancer research emblazoned with the smiley face Ali loved so much. They're also selling passes for students to have hats and drinks in class.

Barney says student support has been overwhelming.

"When they did hat and drink passes, some of them would say, "Can I

give more money?" than the dollar that the drink pass would cost."

Cancer could not claim Ali's spirit, and thanks to Farrah, that spirit will stay strong and help fight childhood cancer.

Ashley Perez helped Farrah sell the pins. She never knew Ali, but says her spirit still inspires her. She explains, "It was just good to see that Ali, even though she had cancer, that she

was happy."

Barney also says, "I never met Ali. I feel like I know her through Farrah and the story of what's happened to her, and how she had a great outlook, and that was there's always something to smile about."

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