Girl battling leukemia raises awareness about blood donations - KCTV5

Girl, 4, battling leukemia raises awareness about blood donations

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KANSAS CITY, KS (KCTV) -

A 4-year-old girl is battling a rare form of leukemia and helping raise attention to the desperate need for blood donations.

A number of fundraising events are being held to help with the family's medical expenses.

Haley Bernard is out of the hospital after undergoing lifesaving treatments, including a bone marrow transplant via stem cells from a newborn sibling. Blood donation shortages complicated Haley's treatment.

The preschooler is now out of the hospital and recovering. She scampers about the Bonner Springs Fire Department where her father, Dennis, is a volunteer firefighter.

He said so many times that Haley had to wait for platelets before she could get treatments.

"It's a very emotional and scary moment when you really don't understand what you are up against anyway," Dennis Bernard said. "It's like landing on a new planet. It's like learning a new language."

Fellow firefighters held a blood drive for Haley and collected 161 units. The firefighters are her extended family.

"She is doing good. She is running around here," her father said. "We are excited that she's feeling better and that she is back running around here smiling."

The family is grateful for and amazed by the outpouring of support.

"There have been a lot of people reaching out to help us," Dennis Bernard said. "It is an indescribable feeling knowing the community is there for you."

Another blood drive is scheduled. The Kansas City Guns N Hoses annual benefit will raise funds for Haley's treatment.

The little girl will get a front-row seat to see the entire procession, which is June 1.

For more information on the Guns N Hoses Ride, click here.

A fundraiser will be held July 19 at the Dub's Dread Golf Club, 12601 Hollingsworth Rd., in KCK. The registration deadline is July 12.

For more information, click here.

The blood drive will be July 20 at the Bonner Springs Fire Department starting at 9 a.m.

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