(WJLA) - Family, friends and other loved ones gathered at the gym at Leesburg's Heritage High School to honor the life of 10-year-old Gabriella Miller.
Gabriella lost her life this past week after a year-long battle with brain cancer. But she was best known for her efforts to give back to others in need.
"If I never do anything great the rest of my life than to have been loved by that little girl, then I will consider this life a very, very successful one," family friend Tom Mitchell said.
Not an empty seat was to be found at Heritage High as people packed in to remember the young lady who fought so bravely to beat a debilitating disease.
Speakers told of a smart, spunky little girl full of personality. She was also selfless, using her battle to raise awareness of childhood cancer and to raise enough money for 36 other kids to go on trips with the Make a Wish Foundation.
After being diagnosed with cancer in late 2012, she embarked on a campaign to have 10,000 people write letters to Santa Claus in an effort to raise money for charity.
They shattered that goal, with the Macy's department store chain receiving more than 200,000 letters wishing for a cure for cancer.
"She really just thought about others," neighbor and family friend Alyssa Meyers said. "I think it's so inspirational that she did that."
Just before she passed away, Renee Kelahan, the librarian and Loudoun County Day School where Gabriella attended, had lunch with her.
"She was a very special little girl," Kelahan said. During their time together that day, Gabriella read her poetry.