An 11-year-old girl who beats a rare bone marrow disorder is now fighting bone cancer.
Hallie Barnard, from Denton, Texas, was born with Diamond-Blackfan Anemia, meaning that the bone marrow does not produce enough red blood cells, reducing the amount of oxygen flowing through the body.
The only remedy is a bone marrow transplant and after about nine years of searching, an agreement was found, Good morning America found it.
In the middle of this fight, she and her family founded Hallie & # 39; s Heroes in July 2015 to help fund research for bone marrow problems and to host bone marrow disorders to encourage more people to sign up for the registry.
But in March, just four months after her transplant, a lump formed on Hallie's left leg, which was confirmed by doctors as a cancerous tumor.
In addition to chemotherapy, doctors told the Barnards that Hallie's leg bone was weak and likely to break, last month her leg was amputated above the tumor site.
Despite her medical problems, Hallie still helps with the non-profit organization, speaks to thousands of people to register for the bone marrow register and to raise money to help the families of children suffering from cancer.
Hallie Barnard, 11 (left and right), from Denton, Texas, was born with Diamond-Blackfan Anemia and was diagnosed at 15 months of age. DBA is a disease in which the bone marrow cannot produce enough red blood cells
DBA is so rare that only 30 children are diagnosed each year in the US and Canada, and the only remedy is a bone marrow transplant. Pictured: Hallie (far left) with her parents and brothers and sisters
When Hallie was a newborn baby, her parents said they soon knew something was wrong, a Facebook said post.
She did not arrive quickly, the cold remained for more than a month and she did not sleep often.
When she was a year old, she was tested for anemia at her checkup, which returned positive.
After 15 months she was finally diagnosed with Diamond-Blackfan Anemia (DBA).
DBA is a disease in which the bone marrow cannot produce enough red blood cells to meet the needs of the body
This is important because red blood cells transport oxygen throughout the body. There was a lack of oxygen behind Hallie's symptoms.
The disease is caused by mutations in one of the different genes, which provide instructions for making proteins
It is so rare that, according to Stanford Children & # 39; s Health, only 30 cases are diagnosed each year in the US and Canada.
Treatments include corticosteroids, to make the bone marrow produce more red blood cells, and blood transfusion to replace the blood cells.
However, the only cure for DBA is a bone marrow transplant.
After years of searching for a donor, Hallie (photo) received a bone marrow transplant in November 2018
Hallie (left and right, with a friend) started having problems walking in January 2019 and a tumor was found in her left leg in March. She was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a form of bone cancer
Bone marrow is the spongy tissue in bones where blood cells are made.
Transplants include taking the blood-forming cells from a donor and bringing them into the patient's bloodstream, where they begin to grow and make healthy red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.
According to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, 70 percent of patients who need a bone marrow transplant do not have a donor in their family, including Hallie.
Her parents have created the non-profit organization Hallie's & # 39; s Heroes to learn about DBA, raise money for research and hopefully find a bone marrow transplant.
After years of searching for a donor, the family finally found a match and had a transplant operation in November 2018.
But new health problems soon emerged.
Hallie started having trouble walking in January of this year. Then, in March, a lump was found on her left leg, Good Morning America reported.
Tests showed it was a tumor and Hallie was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a form of bone cancer.
Osteosarcoma is the most common type of bone cancer. It occurs when the cells that form new bone form a cancerous tumor.
Most tumors usually develop around the knee, either in the lower part of the femur or in the upper part of the tibia.
DBA patients have a higher risk of developing osteosarcoma, but there is no explanation for why. Pictured: Hallie, right, with Fireman Brandi Kamper from Fort Worth
Doctors started Hallie (left and right, with her father) on chemotherapy and told her parents that she was at risk of breaking a bone when performing physical activities. Last month the left leg was amputated in a 13-hour operation at the site of the tumor.
According to the National Cancer Institute, DBA patients have a higher risk of developing cancer, particularly leukemia and osteosarcoma, but there is no explanation why.
& # 39; I thought we were all starting over, & # 39; said Hallie & # 39; s mother, Elyse Barnard, about the diagnosis.
& # 39; It was worse than her first diagnosis … Hallie has been a champion through it all. She said, "I feel that God gave me cancer because there are other children that I need to help." & # 39;
Doctors started Hallie with chemotherapy and last month they told her parents that she was at risk of breaking a bone when she did physical activities.
So the left leg was amputated in a 13-hour operation at the site of the tumor.
& # 39; She said to them, "Cut it off," Barnard told Good Morning America.
& # 39; There is a part of her that is sad, but she has done better than anyone – when they told her about the cancer and about amputation. & # 39;
Since Hallie's diagnosis, the mission of Hallie & # 39; s Heroes has been expanded to help families cover medical bills for childhood cancer.
A family friend of the Barnards has started GoFundMe page to cover the costs of Hallie's treatments.
Starting Thursday afternoon, more than $ 44,200 was raised from a $ 100,000 goal.
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