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American Idol judge Simon Cowell has pledged to be a “guardian angel” to a 3-year-old cancer sufferer.

The 48-year-old pop mogul was so touched by Madelaine Stoen’s story when he appeared on Oprah Winfrey's TV chat show on Monday that he agreed to pay the financially struggling family’s mortgage – all $162,000 of it.

Cowell, on the program to promote his X-Factor protégée Leona Lewis, was close to tears after watching a video interview with Madelaine’s parents, Randy and Amy, in which they told of the financial burden of her treatment.

“I know you are having problems with your mortgage,” he told the couple when they joined him on the Oprah stage. “As of this afternoon, your mortgage has been paid off.”

Madelaine was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer called alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma last month after developing a cyst in her nose, and the family now has to travel more than 100 miles from their Minnesota home each day for treatment. Madelaine, who is starting to lose her hair, faces a year of being in and out of hospital as she undergoes radiation treatment.

“The money for me is not the important part,” said Cowell. “I said to the parents, ‘It doesn’t stop there. If there are any problems, I’m her guardian angel now.’ I never knew that doing good could feel so good.”

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