Successful blood drive held for little girl fighting cancer - KCTV5

Successful blood drive held for little girl continuing fight with cancer

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BONNER SPRINGS, KS (KCTV) -

A 5-year-old Bonner Springs girl is battling a rare form of cancer and, along with the Bonner Springs Fire Department, she's using her fight to help spread an important message.

"It's been a long year. Starting last September of last year we'd been in the hospital for most of the year actually," said Dennis Bernard.

Bernard's 5-year-old daughter Haley is battling JMML - a rare form of Leukemia - for the second time.

"And just about a month and half ago we noticed some symptoms like we did in the beginning. They were signs of relapse. She'll be going back in for another bone marrow transplant soon so it'll be another long, cold winter, but we'll get through it," he said.

Haley's dad also serves as a volunteer firefighter in Bonner Springs and the department wants to see her through this second battle with cancer.

"It touches closer to home, we run EMS calls, we take people to the hospital all the time, it becomes part of what we do. But then, when you have one of your own needing that blood or platelets, it's like, what else can we do?" said Fire Chief Denny Hubbel.

Firefighters served breakfast Saturday morning and encouraged folks to donate blood, all for Haley.

"We've had other members of the fire department that we've lost to cancer. Everybody's touched by cancer, so it's a great cause to support and bring awareness," Hubbel said.

During Haley's first round with Leukemia her father says they'd often have to wait for blood. Haley wants to make sure no other children face that same wait.

"We've been waiting for major treatments to keep her afloat, they have to give her transfusions as needed. It seemed like every two or three days we needed to do a transfusion. The platelets for her blood type were sometimes out and they'd look from hospital to hospital to find them," Bernard said

Haley was sleepy Saturday morning as she prepares for the next round of chemo and another bone marrow transplant. But everyone was happy to see her at her home away from home.

"She's probably got more time on the apparatus than some of our firemen, maybe even the seats of the truck as well. She considers these guys here as family, and they consider her family as well," Bernard.

More than 120 people donated blood at the event and the breakfast raised more than $1,200.

If you missed Saturday's drive, you can go to savealifenow.org for information on other drives in the area.

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