Because her grandfather, William Argo, passed away from cancer in 2012, she wanted to do something to help combat the disease.
The mask was raffled off in benefit of the Northern Cancer Foundation — which supports the Northeast Cancer Centre, where William Argo was treated — at the end of the school year.
One of Mercedes' teachers won the mask in the raffle, but gave it back to her. The girl's grandmother is putting up a special shelf in her home to display the mask that's come to mean so much.
“I feel really proud and happy I'm doing something to help (beat) cancer,” Mercedes said, speaking to Northern Life Aug. 1, after presenting the raffle proceeds to the Northern Cancer Foundation.
Her mom, Vicky Argo, said the experience has taught her daughter about the importance of helping the community.
“She did a great thing, and all the family's very, very proud,” she said.
Northern Cancer Foundation executive director Tannys Laughren said she thinks Mercedes is amazing.
“I think for a young girl to want to give back to the cancer centre at that age is really quite spectacular,” she said.
Miners for Cancer (Digging for a Cure), known for its Northern Cancer Foundation fundraisers, helped the Argo family organize the raffle.
“I was extremely pleased to see a young lady take that kind of initiative,” said the organization's co-founder and president, Wayne Tonelli.
“It absolutely floored me that she would want to do that.
“But knowing a little bit of the history, with the grandfather passing away from cancer, I can understand where she was coming from. For a child that age to even be thinking that way says a lot.”