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Finding Hadley’s Perfect Match

By CLAUDIA COFFEY
Your Voice Contributor 

Hadley Mercer is in the fight of her life. The 8-month-old is battling Acute Myeloid Leukemia and needs a bone marrow transplant to have a chance at living a normal life.

Hadley’s family and friends hosted “Be the Match” bone marrow drive on Sunday, Jan. 26 in hopes of finding a potential donor. They could be one step closer given the enormous turn out. More than 1,000 people joined the National Bone Marrow Registry  on Jan. 26 through a “Be The Match” event held at Holy Trinity. Attendees had their cheeks swabbed to see if they were Hadley’s  perfect match.

“If we could find a match we could save her life,” said Ashlie Mercer,  Hadley’s mother.

Mercer said her daughter had not experienced any complications until just two months ago.

“She wasn’t smiling, she wasn’t eating, she was just not herself,” Mercer said. “I couldn’t get her to track.  Babies will follow your hand or a toy or whatever.  I couldn’t get her to move her eyes.”

After several doctor visits, Hadley was diagnosed with AML. Ashley was nearly numb with shock when she heard the news.

“It was the single worst day of our lives, really,” she said.  “It was really, really scary because you don’t know what that means.”

Hadley has since undergone chemotherapy treatments, but doctors have said they believe Hadley’s best chance is through a bone marrow transplant.

The current bone marrow registry shows only five potential matches for Hadley.

“Be the Match” organizers said they are hopeful they will find a match at this past event and future local events.

Mercer said it was a group decision to reach out to the community for assistance and find a match.

Though she is so young, this is the only life Hadley knows, and it could all be different with just one match.

“You are going to be saving a life,” she said.  “If it’s not Hadley, it’s going to be someone else.”

To be tested for bone marrow, you must be between the ages of 18-44. A simple cheek swab is all it takes to get on the registry and potentially save a life.

If you could not make it to the recent Bone Marrow Registry, there are other ways you can help. Go to www.bethematch.org.