Cypress teen using yoga to get her through illness, inspire others

CYPRESS, TX (KTRK) -- A Cypress teenager had just been accepted to college when she was diagnosed with a rare blood disorder. She's been in and out of hospitals for the past year, and in the midst of it all, she's finding a unique way to inspire others.

At first glance, you may see an athletic girl. But look a little closer and you'll see what's around Briana Donis' wrist - a hospital band.

"In January, I started noticing that there was bruising on my legs," Donis said.

That was the first sign for the 19-year-old that something wasn't right with her body.

When she went to the hospital, she was diagnosed aplastic anemia, a rare blood disorder that's treated a lot like cancer. She's had to take chemo, radiation and a cocktail of medications.

"It didn't hit me until I saw what I couldn't do. What I was no longer able to do, be a normal kid, or go to the university I wanted to," Donis said.

Donis has received two bone marrow transplants since her diagnosis. The first one failed, and doctors are still waiting to see if the second one will hold up.

"She's having an infection at the current time; we're trying to control it as best we can," said Dr. Ghadir Sasa with Texas Children's Hospital.

Donis has to wear a breathing mask wherever she goes. Her immune system is so weak, even a common cold is life threatening.

But Donis isn't letting this disease steal her spirit. Her eyes light up when we ask her about yoga.

"So I started yoga in January of 2014 because I was working out at home since I had been doing soccer at school and I didn't want to get out of shape," Donis said.

What she found was a lot more than a workout. She shared her yoga poses on Instagram, along with her determination, positive attitude and wisdom beyond her 19 years.

"So whatever it is, your sickness, your problem, your insecurity, you are bigger than that. And you get to control your happiness despite your situation," she said.

She's fighting a virus right now, so yoga is on hold.

"I'm not physically strong enough, so I can't even hold myself up," Donis said.

In the meantime, Donis is choosing to focus on what she can do and inspiring everyone she meets.

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