Faces of Kansas City: Tianna goes home - KCTV5

Faces of Kansas City: Tianna goes home

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Tianna Hemsley, 6, was first introduced to KCTV5 viewers in June as one of many children at Children's Mercy Hospital visited by a caricaturist.

She is now back home after spending months at the hospital fighting cancer.

In September, KCTV5's Brad Stephens chronicled the plight of Tianna, whose only chance of beating leukemia hinged on the success of a bone marrow transplant. Her small body was ravaged by an aggressive form of leukemia.

Stephens and photographer Greg Milota were at Children's Mercy Hospital the day doctors gave Tianna a bone marrow transplant. The bone marrow donor was her little sister Destiny.

That was two months ago.

Stephens and Milota caught up with Tianna a few days after Halloween. She made a quite a haul on Halloween, which she proudly showed off by pouring out all of her candy onto the dining room table. Tianna told Stephens with excitement that her favorite Halloween candy is chocolate.

She didn't complain about having to wear a surgical mask while trick-or-treating with her sisters, knowing that it's important because she is still very susceptible to germs.

"This disease, I don't try to look at it as something bad because it's brought my family even closer because it makes us realize you have to measure life by seconds because you don't know if you're going to be here five minutes from now, so you enjoy every second you can," Gina Hemsley, Tianna's mother, said.

Tianna's two brothers and two sisters aren't just glad to have her home, they're also happy to get their Mom back.

"We sit at the dinner table and we talk about our day because, when you're at the hospital, you couldn't do that, so now we've learned to appreciate the little things," Gina Hemsley said.

The family's appreciating little things, like watching Tianna do her homework. She has to be home-schooled now in an attempt to keep her germ-free. It's also the reason her sister Selena, who has a sinus infection, must wear a surgical mask when she's around Tianna.

Many have also asked about the youngest sister, Destiny. The brave 4-year-old barely remembers the day when doctors harvested precious stem cells from her body and gave them to her sister. During KCTV5's visit, she sat next to her sister at the dining room table, giggling, with green toy vampire teeth.

"If she hadn't given Tianna her bone marrow, we wouldn't have Tianna here today because the cancer was so aggressive it was a matter of days - it was coming on so fast she wouldn't have been able to be here today. So her little sister saved her life, and it's amazing," Gina Hemsley said.

Stephens said the staff at Children's Mercy Hospital was amazing with Tianna and her family. He also said he could feel the large amounts of love in Tianna's home when he went back to check up on her.

Click here and click here for previous coverage on this story.

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