In Her Shoes is a series written by readers to give us a glimpse into their lives – what it is like to walk in their shoes. I am honored to share the story of a very special little girl today – and an opportunity for you to help! Please read her message and SHARE this with your friends and family – Facebook, emails, texts, and Pinterest! We need to find this little girl a hero – and it just might be YOU! ~ Love, Ginger
I would like to introduce you to Sydney Balzer. Sydney is a 9 year old, she loves making crafts, spending time with friends, playing soccer, playing piano and doing gymnastics. In September 2010, Sydney was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia. It was a complete shock. She went through 2 ½ years of chemotherapy treatments…losing her hair twice, taking many medicines that made her feel very sick, and spending several days in the hospital. During the first year of treatment, she missed over 100 days of school. That being said, she never let the leukemia stop her from doing the things she loved…she still attended as many soccer games as possible (often on the sidelines as a cheerleader) and eventually (during maintenance treatment) was allowed to play and do gymnastics. In February 2013, Sydney completed her treatments and was deemed Cancer Free. It was a very exciting day!
Unfortunately, in September 2013, the Leukemia returned. She is currently undergoing very aggressive chemotherapy treatments. During the first two weeks of this round of chemo, Sydney suffered a seizure that caused her breathing and heart to stop. Thankfully, Sydney was brought back to life by the staff at the children’s hospital at record speed. Placed on a ventilator, Sydney’s life hung in the balance. The extended family rushed from Kansas, the cruelty of cancer was thrown in her 12 year old brother’s face and her parents clung to a sliver of hope. But…Sydney is a fighter! She fought her way back, defying the dire proclamations of the doctors and a week later was off the ventilator and out of PICU. Each time she takes a chemo treatment, the family holds their breath, understanding what could happen again. Doctors feel the best chance of curing the leukemia is to pursue a Bone Marrow Transplant. Unfortunately, family members have been tested and are not matches.
We need to find a match! Join Team Sydney on Tuesday, November 19th from 10:00 am – 7:00 pm at Asbury Church in Wichita, KS. It’s an easy cheek swab – less than 10 minutes of your time. Your swab will be tested and placed on the National Bone Marrow Registry. To be eligible you must be 18-55 years old, weigh more than 110 lbs and in good general health. Please see the website for complete eligibility guidelines ( www.deletebloodcancer.org ). Delete Blood Cancer is a non-profit organization that works to fight against blood cancers. Each new potential life-saver costs Delete Blood Cancer $65. Delete Blood Cancer does NOT require donors or the volunteer group to cover this cost, 100% of donated funds are used to cover the costs of registering new bone marrow donors. If you are ineligible to donate, please consider making a tax-deductible monetary donation to Delete Blood Cancer. (www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/teamsydney1/teamsydneyfundraisingpage)
Not in the Wichita, Kansas, area? No problem! We want to take this search far and wide! Please go to www.deletebloodcancer.org for information on how YOU can become registered as a bone marrow donor! Let’s find Sydney a match – you just might be her hero!
Stefanie Roth & Team Sydney
Here is a video of little Sydney filmed recently by her local news. Please, please, please don’t delay! Let’s spread the word, and let’s find a match for little Sydney Balzer! Please go to the Delete Bone Marrow website and sign up to become a donor in THREE easy steps! Just like Stefanie mentioned, it is only a cheek-swab and will only take 10 minutes of your time. That’s 10 minutes to save someone’s life – to be a hero!
Thank you so much, Stefanie & Team Sydney, for sharing with us what it is like to be in Sydney’s shoes. We send our thoughts, prayers, and hopes for a match with you! ~ G
* Photos are courtesy of Stefanie Roth and Team Sydney
*Linking up with Women Living Well Wednesdays
In Her Shoes is a series written by readers to give us a glimpse into their lives - what it...