Girl, 5, seeks blood donations after her cancer returns - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Girl, 5, seeks blood donations after her cancer returns


A 5-year-old Bonner Springs girl is not only fighting a rare form of cancer, she is also raising awareness about blood donation shortages.

Haley Bernard is getting some help from her father and his fellow volunteer firefighters.

On Saturday, Haley and the army of firefighters who support her will be hosting a blood donation drive at the fire station at 13001 Metropolitan Ave. in Bonner Springs.

They say many families need blood donations to help the tiniest cancer survivors.

Haley's little sister, Summer, shares more than toys. They also have the same blood.

"She gave some of her blood to me so I can get better," Haley said.

And after that life-saving blood donation, her health improved, but now, the spunky 5-year-old is gearing up for another battle against cancer.

"She had some toes swelling. We took her back to the hospital. They ran some more tests and determined she has relapsed with the JMML (juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia)," Haley's father, Dennis Bernard, said.

Haley is undergoing another round of chemotherapy. She needs another transplant.

"They have done a donor search and found another couple of stem cell donors," Dennis Bernard said.

Thousands of children, like Haley, need blood donations daily inside children's hospitals.

"There was sometimes we were waiting for hours until we were able to locate that particular blood that we needed," Dennis Bernard said.

The family doesn't want anyone else to wait for life-saving treatments, which is why they are holding the large blood drive.

"The great thing about the blood drive is all of this blood is staying local. It is going to the children's hospitals and all the hospitals in the local area that need that blood," he said.

Haley wears a 'Hope for Haley' T-shirt to remind her she has beat cancer once and can do it again.

"I made it in the hospital. I printed out a lot of shirts for everybody," Haley said.

Her family hopes sharing her story will inspire donors.

"Because if they don't come, I don't get blood for me," she said.

On Saturday, they will hold a biscuit and gravy breakfast to raise money for the American Cancer Society.

The breakfast costs $7 for adults and $5 for children. It is free for children five and younger. The blood drive runs from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

If you can't make it to Bonner Springs, they encourage you to donate blood at the blood bank closest to you.

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