Bone Marrow Drive for 11-year-old Valaria

12:23 AM, Aug 12, 2012   |    comments
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Valaria Fenderson

ATLANTA - Last week, 11Alive introduced you to a young girl who has been in need of a bone marrow transplant her entire life.

Now, we're happy to announce that on September 7, 11Alive along with V-103 and students from several local colleges - Spelman, Clark Atlanta and Morehouse -- are sponsoring a bone marrow drive to help 11-year-old Valaria Fenderson find a match.

Valaria has been engaged in a constant battle with sickle cell anemia - a condition in which there are not enough healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout the body. One in 12 African Americans carry the trait.

The cure for the condition is a bone marrow transplant.

The sixth grader at Trinity Chapel Academy says she couldn't wait for school to start.

"Because you get to learn more about God," she said.

She has a belief that her dark days and nights of living with the disease will one day come to an end.

"If they find a match for her, she will go on to get a bone marrow transplant," her doctor said. "So, basically, what that means is that we are going to give her chemotherapy to wipe out all of her bone marrow and then replace it with the donor's bone marrow - essentially curing her sickle cell disease."

But until then, Valaria chooses to remain positive - taking part in daily praise and worship at her school.

"Kids come first for us and so we feel like God is saying here is someone that we want you to take care of."

The bone marrow drive will take place September 7, from 10 am to 7:30 pm at the Spelman College Student Center. 11Alive News will be live throughout the day for the event.



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