BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — “Carmella was the smartest little kid that I think there ever was. Of course, I’m bias. But she really was a genius.”

Amanda Rossi, of Buffalo, is talking about her daughter, Carmella. At age two, Carmella was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of kidney cancer. 

“She went into Children’s Hospital to have an ultrasound because she was constipated for several weeks and we expected to be back at work in a couple hours, ” said Carmella’s father, Tony.

“You never think it’s cancer. You think she’s constipated just like any other two-year-old,” said Amanda.

That was February 7, 2020. Carmella died eight months later.

“When Carmella passed away, I couldn’t possibly explain how terrible it is,” said Amanda.

Amanda and Tony are keeping Carmella’s memory alive with the now Second Annual Carmella Classic golf tournament.

She would love to have a whole day where people were talking about her, honoring her, and thinking about her,” Amanda explained.

Last year, the inaugural event raised about $65,000. 100 percent of the proceeds went to P.U.N.T The nonprofit provides financial, practical, and emotional support to families facing a pediatric cancer diagnosis. It will be the tournament’s beneficiary again, this year.

The tournament is scheduled for June 16, 2023. It is the Friday before Father’s Day. Tony said Carmella loved the game of golf and being outdoors.

“If she was here, we’d golf on Father’s Day weekend. It’s a way for us to do that. She’s not there but we’re golfing in honor of her,” Tony said.

For more information on the Carmella Classic, click here.

Ali Touhey is an anchor and reporter who joined the News 4 team in 2023. View more of her work here.