A young man graduated from high school thanks to a heroic act by a 9-year-old girl who saved his life more than 16 years ago.
Michael Becerril, who graduated last week from Los Amigos High School in the city of Fountain Valley, dedicated his great achievement to Génesis Estrada, who saved him when he was just a baby.
Estrada shielded the 10-month-old boy with her body in a shooting that took place in Las Vegas in September 2002.
"I say it every day, for her I am here living …,” Becerril said.
During his graduation, Becerril carried the framed photo of the girl in her memory.
"Well, I wanted to say thank you, thank you very much…," Becerril said through tears as he remembered the girl. "And I know that they are just words ...," he added, saying that he can never pay back what she did for him.
The young man, his family and the mother of Génesis Estrada consider that the girl has become Becerril's guardian angel.
"And what he has done really touches my heart because I feel my daughter lives in him still," said Nohemy Estrada, the mother of the deceased girl.
Nohemy Estrada has not seen the young man since that day when her daughter saved the young man's life, and lost her own.
"I would love to look at him, hug him because I know ... it was worth it that my daughter gave her life for him," Estrada said.
Apart from wanting to dedicate all his achievements to Génesis Estrada, Becerril also always carries a photo of the girl in his wallet.
"I just want to give her a hug," said Becerril. "Thank you."