HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- At age 12, Baylee Windt of Shepherd, Texas, loves to make cookies, loves Ed Sheeran songs, and loves her little dog. She also wants people to sign up on the bone marrow registry.
Baylee was diagnosed last year with lymphoma, discovered after she complained of a sore and swollen knee. She spent the next three weeks undergoing chemotherapy at Texas Children's Hospital.
"It changed our lives," said her mother, Regina Windt. "The scans showed the cancer was disappearing and then she was cancer-free." A few months ago, it returned "as fierce as before," she said.
To continue the treatment, Baylee needs to find a match on the bone marrow registry. Often siblings and immediate family are possible donors, but her case is different.
Robert and Regina Windt adopted Baylee as an infant from Guatemala. Her older brother, Walker, was adopted as a baby from Russia.
"I can't imagine our lives without them," said their adoptive mother.
"Even if we knew her birth mom, that would be only a 50 percent chance, and we're unaware if she has siblings," she said.
Anna Nubia Brown is a representative of the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center, who is working with the Windt family.
"Baylee is extraordinary because of her attitude," she said. "We need people to sign up on the bone marrow registry and be the person who can literally save someone's life. If a person needing a bone marrow transplant is Caucasian, there's a 77 percent chance of finding a match on the registry. If you're Hispanic or Latino like Baylee, it drops to less than 40 percent. It's all about awareness and we want to get the message out to everyone."
Baylee said she is more concerned for her family than herself.
"My brother had an anxiety attack when all this started. I don't want my family to be upset," she said. "I want people to enroll on the bone marrow registry, not (just) for me. There are a lot of people out there who need it and can't find it, so it'd be good if they'd sign up to save somebody's life."
Her family hopes hers will be one of the lives saved.
She already has a plan for her life when she's older. "I want to be a nurse at Texas Children's Hospital. There are a lot of people who work there who had cancer as kids. I want to be one of them who help other children while they're going through treatment."
For more information on how to support Baylee's Battle, go to bethematch.org.
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12-year-old girl with cancer in need of bone marrow transplant
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