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Blood donors help 3-year-old fight cancer

Layla is a 3-year-old princess who loves everything pink. She has a big, beautiful smile and a wonderful sense of humor.

Last summer, Layla and her family’s lives were changed forever when she was diagnosed with leukemia. Hospitals and doctors became a regular part of her life. 

Suhair, Layla's mom, said the tiny girl needed a lot of blood that first month after her diagnosis. 

During each transfusion in the intensive care unit, Suhair said she’d look up at the bags filled with blood and say a prayer for the person who donated. 

The toddler is one of the thousands of children diagnosed with cancer each year in the United States. As Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center recognizes Childhood Cancer Awareness in September, we’re inviting the community to consider donating blood and help kids “sock it to cancer.” As a token of our appreciation in September, donors will receive a limited-edition pair of “Blood Donors Unite” socks.

Suhair continues to be amazed by the blood donors who contribute, even through a pandemic, to help children like Layla. 

Layla’s treatment is ongoing and she received a bone marrow transplant just when the COVID-19 pandemic began. Her brother, Laith, was a perfect match for the transplant. It was a tough time for anyone to be in the hospital, but particularly for a young toddler fighting cancer. 

Scared of hospitals and terrified of doctors, Laith still stepped up for his baby sister. 

He’s now his sister’s hero at just 9 years old. Layla isn’t at 100 percent yet, but with the help of blood donors and Laith, she’s getting better daily. 

Thank you to all of the donors who make it possible for Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center to serve patients like Layla and her family.

Posted by Julie Silva on

About the Author

Julie’s work at Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center has given her the opportunity to meet amazing people in our community who are inspiring a new generation with their powerful stories of hope.

She previously spent more than a dozen years as a journalist in Laredo, the Rio Grande Valley, Corpus Christi, and the Houston suburbs. Currently, she and her husband, Dennis, reside in Katy.

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