It has been a rough year for families in north suburban Lincolnshire-Prairie View School District 103, as two students and the young daughter of a teacher fight cancer. But the school community is standing strong in the face of heartache, hosting a blood drive and bone marrow registry event this weekend.
Families here want to show support for all of the kids in need, including 5-year-old Ava Lee, who has a rare type of leukemia. Her mother, Esther, is a 4th grade teacher.
"One of the ways that they cure this leukemia is through a blood marrow transplant,” Esther explains. “At this point, we are looking for a potential match for her."
Esther has one simple message as her daughter fights this battle -- more bone marrow donors are needed, particularly those of Asian descent.
"The more people that register, the easier it will be for kids like Ava to have a second lease on life," she says.
Another young fighter who knows the personal value of blood and bone marrow donations is 8th grader Kyra Roach. She's had several transfusions after being diagnosed with bone cancer.
"I think people sometimes don't realize they can help and donating blood is a great way to help cancer patients," Kyra tells FOX 32.
Kyra says the support from her classmates, teachers and even strangers is giving her strength as she fights on.
"I can't even explain how thankful I am that they came out and donate,” she adds. “Just being able to be here and thank them is really special to me."
Another student in the district also has leukemia.
Organizers for the event say this blood drive is another way they can help replenish the Chicago area's blood supply to help young patients who are battling life-threatening illnesses.
205 N. Michigan Avenue
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