Community rallies to support 6-year-old battling cancer - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Community rallies to support 6-year-old battling cancer

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6-year-old Brynn Levitsy is in her fourth battle with cancer (submitted) 6-year-old Brynn Levitsy is in her fourth battle with cancer (submitted)
SALEM, CT (WFSB) -

On Wednesday, a local community rallied together to help a 6-year-old who is battling cancer for the fourth time.

With the simple swab of the cheek, community members helped out, and the impact it could potentially have is life saving.

Brynn Levitsky is in her fourth time battling a rare form of leukemia.

"She's a fun-loving kid with a wonderful spirit and personality, very happy,” said Brynn’s mother Kara Levitsky.

She said Brynn was first diagnosed at 22 months old and had gone through a full round of treatment.

She has gone through chemo multiple times, has received a bone marrow transplant and recently relapsed.

"Just a couple weeks ago we found out that her actual transplant is failing so this is the fourth go around,” Kara Levitsky said.

Her daughter’s only option now is another bone marrow transplant.

Brynn is in kindergarten at Salem Elementary School. Her school social worker and neighbors decided to help hold a bone marrow drive at the Salem Volunteer Fire Department on Wednesday.

"It's good to see the community get together and do something for one of our students that need our help,” said Tanya Wenke, a teacher at Salem Elementary School.

"I got involved because one of our own family members on the fire department, it's his niece and we'll do all we can to help the town of Salem even if it means hosting a drive,” said Kyle Burke, a Salem volunteer firefighter.

Be the Match is the national bone marrow registry partnered with the Rhode Island Blood Center that organized the event.

"It's very few hours of your time, whether it's a child or adult many more of theirs,” said Jon Decasanova of Rhode Island Blood Drive, a Be the Match partner.

People from 18 to 44 filled out some info and did a simple cheek swab to evaluate their DNA and see if they could one day match a patient in need.

If they ever get a call 75 percent of the time they would go through an automated blood donation where doctors skim off stem cells from blood pumped out then back into you, or 25 percent of the time is a traditional marrow donation when they extract cells from your lower back.

"Just to bring awareness and support is the most that we could ever ask for and we truly, truly appreciate it,” said Kara Levitsky.

About one in 30 people will be a potential match, but about one in 600 people will be an exact match.

If you missed today's drive you can find out how to sign up here.

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