SHOWELL – Community members are spearheading a bone marrow donor registration drive at Showell Elementary School (SES) later this month after a third-grade student was recently diagnosed with cancer.
Ed Reid, school counselor at SES and one of the event coordinators for the registration drive, said mother Brandy Terrell approached him with the idea after her nine-year-old daughter, Brianna Merritt, was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, a form of blood cancer that begins in the bone marrow.
Terrell said she took her daughter to the dentist in late October to have her swollen gums examined. At the advice of the dentist, Merritt was sent to her pediatrician, who prescribed her antibiotics to reduce the inflammation.
When that treatment failed, Terrell said the pediatrician immediately sent Merritt to the hospital for a full blood test, which confirmed the diagnosis. Afterwards, Merritt was sent to Johns Hopkins Hospital for a round of chemotherapy, which doctors told Terrell would successfully attack the leukemia.