Restaurant Holds Fundraiser For Girl, 13, With Inoperable Brain Tumor

INDUSTRY (CBS) — Frisco’s Car Hop in Industry (18065 Gale Ave, 626-913-3663) — a 50s-style diner — has been open since 1982, but tonight might have been one of their most special reasons to serve up burgers and fries.

The restaurant’s owner, Joanne Stathoulis, threw an all-day fundraiser to help a 13-year-old girl who is battling an inoperable brain tumor.

The tumor made the girl gain weight. And doctors say she is too heavy to do chemo safely. She is also too young for radiation therapy. Giovanna Sherman (Gigi to her friends) suffers from a rare and inoperable form of cancer known as pilocytic astrocytoma. She’s been fighting the cancer since she was 11.

So family and friends thought it would be a good idea to send Gigi to a weight camp, thus the fundraiser and a way to keep up her cancer treatments. The intensive camp — she would go for two and one half months — will help her lose the 50, or so, pounds she needs to battle the cancer more effectively.

The goal was to raise $25,000. Frisco’s planned to donate 15 percent of their profits from noon until 10 p.m. tonight.

Said Stathoulis, “Gigi is a talented singer and dancer. She is so sweet. She has the most unbelievable spirit I’ve ever seen. Her attitude is so great. We are hoping some doctor will see this and come forward and help her.”

Gigi told KCAL9’s Kristine Lazar that she is “a normal girl, living a normal life” but admitted that she is also scared. “Because I don’t know what’s going to happen next.” But Lazar says, everyone who knows Gigi knows her spirit will not keep her down. Or scared for long. Said Lazar, “She is a big personality who delights in entertaining the crowd.”

She told Lazar, “I want to change the world in some way.” She also told Lazar she wanted to be a teacher for kids with autism (like her brother) or “spread the word of God to the world”

For more about Frisco’s, click here.


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