Blood drive could save girl's life

Tuesday, July 22nd 2008, 12:11 am
By: News 9

By Amy Lester, NEWS 9

SHAWNEE, Okla. -- A metro 10-year-old has a condition that makes it impossible to fight off infection. A bone marrow transplant is the only cure, but so far she hasn't found a suitable match.

Tallie Anderson's family doesn't match, and her ethnic background makes it even tougher to find a perfect match. The family's still hopeful, especially now.

Her life's a lot different than it was just one year ago.

"It's been kind of a little sad, I can't go to school or jump around or play with the other kids," Tallie said.

Tallie has Aplastic anemia. It's a condition that causes her bone marrow to not properly function. She bruises easily, her blood doesn't clot well and her immune system is weak.

"She's basically unable to fight off any infection," Tallie's stepmother, Leslie Anderson said.

Tallie is undergoing treatment, but, the only cure is a bone marrow transplant.

"It would give her a great chance at being normal again," Anderson said.

Tallie is Native American and since Native Americans make up less than one percent of the national bone marrow registry she has not found a perfect match, for a transplant.

"There's not a lot of bone marrow and not a lot of chances, so match for her is very, very rare," Tallie's father, Roger Anderson said.

That's why FireLake Grand Casino is stepping in and holding a blood drive, in Tallie's honor.

"She is the focal point of our efforts right now and we sure would like to find a donor for her," Brad Peltier with the FireLake Grand Casino said. "I'm sure her parents feel the same way."

Tallie's parents are blown away since the casino's reaching out.

"For them to do something for my daughter, our daughter, is overwhelming, it really is," Roger said.

Even if there is not a match, the family said, the blood drive could help someone else.

The blood drive will take place at the FireLake Grand Casino in Shawnee, on Thursday, July 31 from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.