Best friend steps up to help friend fight rare blood disorder
Illness brought two Bradley County girls even closer. What started out as a gesture to help her best friend get better has now turned into an effort to help others who also suffer from this rare blood disorder.
Thursday, August 7th 2014, 6:49 pm EDT by
Thursday, August 7th 2014, 7:08 pm EDT
Fourteen-year-old Haley Brooks considers herself one of the lucky ones, for more reasons than one.
"I don't have to get blood anymore, get to act like a normal kid, hang out with my friends."
Friends like Violet Lee. At 18 months old Haley was diagnosed with Diamond Blackfan Anemia.
Lisa Brooks, Haley's Mom, "Diamond Blackfan Anemia is a very rare blood disorder, it affects less than 500 kids."
With this disorder, the bone marrow fails to make red blood cells, which are essential for carrying oxygen from the lungs to all the other parts of the body.
Haley had to get blood transfusions every week until it was no longer an option.
Lisa Brooks, "Her transfusions were so close together that they were dangerous and he told me we have no choice, she's not going to make it. We have to do a bone marrow transplant.
That's when Violet got involved, helping to organize a blood and bone marrow drive trying to help her best friend and raise awareness.
Violet Lee, best friend, "I started the foundation to help because she was going through a tough time and it hurt me to see her trying so hard and staying strong."
Haley had a successful bone marrow transplant and is doing well, but Violet continues her effort to raise awareness and help others like Haley. She's holding another fundraiser this year.
Violet Lee, "It makes me happy we can continue to do that because I just feel it makes us closer as friends."
Haley Brooks, "She's like a sister to me I guess, she's always there for me."
A special bond, made even stronger by the desire to help a friend and now others.