Smyth County

5-year-old waiting for bone marrow transplant

5-year-old waiting for bone marrow transplant

SMYTH COUNTY, Va. - Most 5-year-olds look forward to going to school for the first time and meeting new friends, but one girl in Smyth County is not able to.

Kids in Smyth County are back in school. "Sometimes we do a crafts, and I made a puppy dog," says 5-year-old Nevaeh.

For 5-year-old Nevaeh Bruner, instead of starting kindergarten at Chilhowie Elementary School, has CES teacher Leslie Frye coming to her house, "Nevaeh is receiving the same education through home bound as the other kids in the classroom. So she's not falling behind and she'll be prepared when she's coming back to school," adds Frye.

That's because Nevaeh has Aplastic Anemia, which is a blood disorder where the body's bone marrow doesn't make enough new blood cells.

Her great aunt Pam Buchanan, who cares for Nevaeh, says she was diagnosed last November right before her fifth birthday. "When they got her there, the blood counts were around 6,000. If they wouldn't have got her there within a couple of days they she wouldn't have made it," she explained.

Pam says they tried several different types of medicine to help, including what she's on now, oral chemotherapy. "They finally found one that was actually starting to work, but as it was bringing her levels up then they noticed it was causing kidney failure," she said.

Pam says Nevaeh has stage two kidney disease.

Now, doctors are trying to slowly take her off that medicine so she can get ready for her bone marrow transplant. The good news is that doctors say they have two perfect matches, but after the transplant there is only a 50-50 chance it will work.

Until then Nevaeh can't be around other kids in case they are sick. "When her levels drop really low she will not even be able to go to Walmart or anything unless she's got a mask on," adds Buchanan.

Nevaeh also has to watch what she eats. "She has a maximum of 30 minutes to eat it. It cannot be fixed more than 30 minutes," says Buchanan.

Now Nevaeh stays positive and hopes she'll be able to go to school next year. She told us about the one thing she's looking forward to most. "I would like to play with my best friend at school," says Nevaeh.

Nevaeh's family set up an account to help with medical bills and travel expenses. Click here for the fund.

Click here to follow Nevaeh's journey on Facebook.

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