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Local First-Grader Battling Rare Form of Cancer

A fundraising campaign has been established to help pay for the travel expenses of cancer patient and Saucon Valley Elementary School student Hailey Carrol, 6, who is being treated at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn.

By Tina Olson-Wilkins

Hailey Carrol is an ambitious and vibrant first grade student at Saucon Valley Elementary School. This past July, she was diagnosed with a rare and currently incurable form of skin cancer known as spitzoid melanoma.

Her mother Karen reports that she first noticed a strange mole growing on her daughter's arm two years ago. Of course, she made many attempts to get a diagnosis over the course of those two years, from doctors who chalked the skin abnormality up to nothing more than normal childhood mishaps.

It was only after Karen switched family doctors this July, that her concerns were met with professional concern.

Hailey's biospy, studied at Harvard, came back with shocking results.

Unfortunately, Mama Karen and young Hailey's plight took more complicated turns.

The medical team at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., discovered that Hailey lacks the gene P-16. Without this gene, Hailey's body mutates cancer.

Next, they discovered in a near-tragic hour that Hailey cannot tolerate methylene blue, a common dye used to test what stage of cancer a patient has.

Hailey went into cardiac arrest for 58 minutes on Oct. 2, 2013.

"Thank God and for the caring staff at St. Jude's, who would NOT give up on her!" her mother Karen said.

Hailey is just the seventeenth person to have this form of cancer, and the first six-year-old to be diagnosed with it, Karen said. She is also the first to have had severe cardiac arrest from methylene blue, which is considered to be the safest, most commonly used cancer tracer dye, she added.

Since Hailey cannot be tested normally or locally, she and her family must now fly to St. Jude's in Tennessee every 90 days.

Karen relies on the close emotional support of both her mother and her long-term boyfriend, Nate Griffin. They both fully support Karen and Hailey as they continue to go on these incredibly costly trips.

St. Jude's helps, but the family is asking for neighbors and friends who can give to please consider donating to help offset their costs in their time of trial.

You can directly donate on the GiveForward website page set up for Hailey, here.

As of Monday evening, more than $1,400 had been contributed toward the family's goal of $4,000 to help pay for travel expenses.

Photo Credit: Hailey Carrol fundraising page on the GiveForward website
Treissa Siegfried January 09, 2014 at 12:07 AM
So many thoughts and Prayers on their way to this little girl and her family!! I visited St. Jude hospital to deliver a donation this past summer along with my sisters and two friends. The trip moved me to tears knowing that anyone receiving care from them is in the best of hands, and that reassurance came after meeting the mother of a child in their chapel. Families of patients are also taken care of, including travel, housing, meals, etc., anything they can do to insure comfort and peace of mind. Will spread the story to others to help in any way.

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