For most of her young life, Hallie Barnard has been looking for something you can’t buy in a store: She’s searching for someone who could save her life.
"I’m seven years old, I love puppies, my favorite color is purple and I’m looking for a bone marrow match,” explained Hallie at a donor registration drive held in August 2015.
The charming second-grader also unveiled some big ideas about what she wants to do when she grows up. “I’m not sure yet, but I’m either going to be a doctor, a spy, an animal rescuer or the first girl President of the United States!”
Hallie Bea, as she’s affectionately called, was just an infant when she was diagnosed with Diamond-Blackfan anemia, a very rare condition where the bone marrow is unable to produce enough red blood cells. Blood transfusions and other treatments keep her disease in check for now, but a bone marrow transplant is her only hope for a cure.
Hallie’s younger brother and sister are perfect matches for each other, but not for Hallie, and a matching donor has not been found among the 25 million people on the registry.
My parents are really worried about finding my match,” Hallie said. “I want to find my match, so they can worry about college instead!
Her parents, Elyse and Jesse, have seen their daughter endure numerous transfusions and hospital visits -- hoping every day that Hallie’s lifesaver will join the registry.
“For years we’ve been waiting to find her matching donor and it’s just extremely hard,” Elyse explained. “The worst feeling is not being able to make her better.”
Hallie’s family is doing everything in their power to help her and help other patients along the way. They’re working with businesses and organizations in north Texas to host donor drives, and using their Facebook page -- Hallie’s Heroes -- to raise awareness and inspire more people to register.
Even if we don’t find a match for me, we could find one for someone,” Hallie said. “I know there are other kids who are too sick and can’t go outside and play or have tea parties. When you register, you could save one of the 14,000 people just like me looking for their bone marrow match.
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