RIDGELAND, Miss. (WLBT) - Eight-year-old Charlotte of Ridgeland loves her mom, dad and sisters, and is always game for hands-on activities.
“I like to do Legos, draw and do art,” she tells us.
She’s a vibrant little girl who feels energetic and healthy, but that wasn’t the case one day two years ago. Her mother Ashley noticed what looked like bruising on her skin. They ended up at Batson Hospital.
“They did a bone marrow biopsy, then by that Wednesday I believe, they diagnosed her with very severe aplastic anemia. She needed a bone marrow transplant,” Ashley says.
It wasn’t long before they were headed to St. Jude.
“From the moment we walked in the door we felt like family. Everyone there treated us like they had known us forever,” Ashley tells us. “It’s filled with hope and happiness, and that’s not what you would expect when you’re in a difficult place as a parent.”
Charlotte’s treatment lasted four months. The family stayed at the Target House on the St. Jude campus, and never paid for treatment, travel, housing or food.
During treatment, Charlotte met a nurse named Traci who became a special friend.
“She gave me this friendship bracelet last time I went. When I was in the hospital she came and built legos with me,” Charlotte says, showing us the bracelet.
The family now goes for checkups every three to four months, and Traci usually makes it a point to see Charlotte, which means the world to Ashley.
“Everyone there, they’re just absolutely amazing. They all have hearts of gold,” she says. “When you donate to St. Jude you’re not just helping St. Jude, you’re helping the world when it comes to childhood diseases and treatment. It’s the hands and feet of God to us, for sure.”