Meet Daisie Hilborn

HOUSTON The chemo from her cancer treatments caused congestive heart failure, and Daisie will now need a heart transplant. Despite all that she's been through and continues to face, Daisie remains in great spirits. The following is Daisie's story, as told by her grandmother, Marilyn Kasmiersky, who has hosted blood drives in Daisie's honor.

It was May and the end of junior high school. She was looking forward to a fun summer and starting 9th grade in the fall. Daisie had been complaining of a back backache. For a month she went to the doctor as the pain continued to get worse.

Finally an MRI was done and showed a soft tissue mass on her lower spine.

"It's not cancer" per the MRI tech.

The pain became unbearable so Daisie's partents decided it was best to drive to Houston to Texas Children's Emergency Room. She was immediately admitted and told "You have AML Leukemia."

It is a very rare cancer in children, very aggressive and hard to treat. You will not be able to attend school next year, we need to remove your braces and your hair will fall out within two weeks." Bam! That is not the news any family wants to hear.

Daisie started her chemo treatments the next day, twice a day for 10 days. The treatments hit her hard. After chemo it was the start of rebuilding her again to be able to sustain the next treatments.

This became the ritual over the course of five months straight in the hospital. During this time a large amount of blood, red cells and platelets were given to Daisie.

Her body was not rebuilding fast enough so it was necessary to give her the boost with blood products. She needed to rebuild her ANC levels so she could withstand the rest of the chemo plan.

There have been several blood drives in her honor and will continue to do so as the journey continues.

After five months in the hospital Daise came home for five weeks looking forward to being home for Christmas with her siblings and family. The first week of December she was back at TCH emergency room with 10% heart function. The treatments caused severe damage to her heart.

After exhausting all resources and another month in cardiac ICU she had a 10 hour open heart surgery to place a Heartware LVAD pump in her heart to keep her alive.

A heart transplant will be in her future.

As you can see how valuable and important it is for her and many other patients to have blood donations. We will continue to support blood drives and encourage others to do the same. We are neighbors helping each other.

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