Amarillo community: We won't give up on Carla

Carla Contreras is fighting leukemia at the Dallas Medical Center.

A parking lot filled with cars, phone lines busy and a line of people wrapped around the inside of a building is a great problem to have when it supports a local 12-year-old girl fighting for her life.

Members of the community organized a fundraiser with Blue Sky. If 500 people ate at the restaurant or called in an order, Blue Sky agreed to donate 20 percent of the proceeds to Carla Contreras and her family.

Organizer Barbara Lowe said, "The reason why this has gotten so big is that Carla's heart is so big."

Doctors diagnosed Contreras with leukemia last year, but an unexpected turn on Christmas Eve landed her on an emergency flight to the Dallas Medical Center.

Her parents are staying at the city's local Ronald McDonald House. They have three other kids back home living with family members and the bills are pilling high.

David Elizalde met Contreras before she was diagnosed with leukemia. He said Contreras was placed in a coma for nearly five weeks, and doctors weren't seeing any improvements until Friday.

"Last Friday the doctors gave her no chances," Elizalde said. "Well Saturday at 5 a.m. she ripped out her tube and now she's breathing on her own, doing exercises and she's getting her voice back. So the update is she's improving every day with prayer."

Organizers said their goal is to raise as much money as they can with the help of others in the community. As for Carla, they know she would think they're already doing enough.

"If Carla were here tonight she'd probably make us give half the money to another family," Lowe said. "She is just that loving and caring and I don't think she'd expect this many people to help her get through this, but she'd probably want it for someone else."