Houston donut shop owner, who was forced to shut down shop amid pandemic, now battling stage 4 cancer

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The pandemic has made this year tough for many people, but for Ly Kosal Meng and his family, they've seen more than their share of problems.

First, the pandemic scared away customers from Dina's Donuts on Maxey Road, the business they've owned for more than a decade.

"When COVID-19 hit, it just went downhill," Ly's daughter, Bebe Rodriguez, said.

Bebe and her husband Jose explained to ABC13 how things got even worse.

A diagnosis of stage four colon cancer took its toll, which made work even more difficult for Ly.

"He didn't have an appetite, and it's been doctor appointments to doctor appointments since," Jose said.

On top of that, Ly was robbed at gunpoint at the shop, which he soon had to close down. Doctors also told the family it may be time for funeral plans with Ly's prognosis looking so poor. That put them in an even tougher spot.

With the donut shop closed and bills piling up, they needed help.

That's when young Ximena stepped in.

"Mr. Ly is like a grandfather to me. We've known [him] a few years now, and he's somebody I wish was in my life more," she said. "He seemed really sad, and so did his wife. So, it hurt me a lot, and I wanted to do something to help."

Ximena noticed people raise money for good causes on social media, so she took it upon herself to do the same.

"She started a GoFundMe, and that's how it started," Jose explained.

Ximena hopes others will consider supporting by donating to the account and helping Ly's family. You can start by clicking here.

She's already got the gratitude of her surrogate grandfather, Mr. Ly, even if he's not able to tell her in person at the moment.

"He's grateful. He can't really speak right now, but he's grateful," Bebe said.

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