Tootie knows more about loss than anyone her age should know. She lost her mother as a teenager.

Tootie’s mother broke her leg in 3 places, requiring surgery. Her leg swelled badly, and Tootie’s mother required blood transfusions. Soon, it seemed everything would be OK. Tootie’s mother was up walking around as before. But the next morning, she couldn’t breathe. Fears of a heart attack turned out to be wrong – she had a blood infection.

Tootie says she became closer to God when her mom died – and credits her Youth for Christ youth group for helping her get through. They became her support system. “We’re one big happy family,” she says.

Because of the love and support she received from Youth for Christ, Tootie wants to do the same with other kids. “I want to … show them that somebody actually does care about them.”

Tootie’s Story City Life from Youth for Christ/USA on Vimeo.