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.
Hadleyâ€™s family and friends hosted â€œBe the Matchâ€ 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 RegistryÂ on Jan. 26 through a â€œBe The Matchâ€ event held at Holy Trinity. Attendees had their cheeks swabbed to see if they were Hadleyâ€™sÂ perfect match.
â€œIf we could find a match we could save her life,â€ said Ashlie Mercer,Â Â Hadleyâ€™s mother.
Mercer said her daughter had not experienced any complications until just two months ago.
â€œShe wasnâ€™t smiling, she wasnâ€™t eating, she was just not herself,â€ Mercer said. â€œI couldnâ€™t get her to track.Â Babies will follow your hand or a toy or whatever.Â I couldnâ€™t get her to move her eyes.â€
After several doctor visits, Hadley was diagnosed with AML.Â Ashley was nearly numb with shock when she heard the news.
â€œIt was the single worst day of our lives, really,â€ she said.Â â€œIt was really, really scary because you donâ€™t know what that means.â€
Hadley has since undergone chemotherapy treatments, but doctors have said they believe Hadleyâ€™s best chance is through a bone marrow transplant.
The current bone marrow registry shows only five potential matches for Hadley.
â€œBe the Matchâ€ 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.
â€œYou are going to be saving a life,â€ she said.Â â€œIf itâ€™s not Hadley, itâ€™s going to be someone else.â€
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.