Local

Visalia girl gets life-saving bone marrow transplant

Thursday, March 01, 2012

A South Valley girl is recovering after a life-saving bone marrow transplant.

Gracie Chavez is finally home resting with her parents and grandparents after spending a month at UCLA Medical Center.

On January 19th, Gracie received a life-saving bone marrow transplant. Her family hopes the procedure will cure her of a disease called "aplastic anemia."

Gracie's father, Anthony Chavez told Action News, "It's fantastic mental health for us just peace of mind being surrounded by family and familiar surroundings."

Gracie's mother, Jacqueline Chavez said, "It's the happiest time of our lives right now."

Last summer Gracie's parents ran a tireless campaign to find a bone marrow transplant for their little girl.

After their first potential match backed out, they were thrilled when last fall -- a donor came through.

Then in January, Gracie and her family drove down to Los Angeles for what seemed like a miracle transfusion procedure.

"It was very emotional, it was exciting," said Jacqueline Chavez. "You get to see that person walk in with the cooler in their hands. And you know that person is there to save your child's life."

As part of the bone marrow transplant, Gracie had to undergo chemotherapy and radiation treatments. In a YouTube video titled "Fearless Gracie" her dad documented Gracie brushing out her remaining hair.

Now that Gracie is back home recovering she'll be monitored for the first 100 days after her transplant. She has to follow a strict diet and can't spend time outdoors.

The family still travels to UCLA once a week to test her blood but they say it's a small sacrifice for their little girl's recovery.

After her 4th birthday in April and with a doctor's approval, her parents want to take her to the zoo, which is a favorite for Gracie. Her parents want to thank the community for all of their support and prayers for Gracie's health.

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visalia, tulare county, local, jessica peres
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