VivaMelissa!--a campaign to raise money to save a little girl's life
Melissa is an 11-year-old girl battling Leukemia in the Dominican Republic. After traveling to her community, Cruz Verde, over Spring Break, I fell in love with this amazing little girl.
She was one of the first people I met when I got off the bus. I didn't believe her when she told me she was 11 because she was so small, until someone told me, "Ella está enferma." (In English, "she is sick.") Little did I know, I would end up living in Melissa's house for the week, creating a bond with her that I will never forget.
As I got closer with Melissa, I couldn't believe how smart she was. While many of the younger children couldn't understand my terrible Spanish accent, Melissa understood everything I said. She even helped me communicate with the people that didn't understand me. And as soon as Melissa got her hands on my phone, she knew exactly what she was doing. I looked over and in just minutes she had beaten the level on Candy Crush that I had been stuck on for over a month!
I started to notice that Melissa's skin color and hair were slightly different than the other little girls', but I was amazed by how vibrant and confident she was despite her sickness. It didn't take long for me to start asking questions about Melissa and how I could help her get better.
I was told that Melissa had Leukemia, and that the Sister Island Project (the program that organized our mission trip) helped her afford blood transfusions each month to keep her alive. When converted from Dominican pesos, the cost of her monthly blood transfusion is around $50. But, they said that what she really needed was "médula," or bone marrow.
Other volunteers raised money in the past to get the bone marrow of Melissa's mother, brother, and sister tested for compatibility but none were a match. The best option at this point is to get Melissa into the bone marrow bank in another, more developed country. The problem is that this will cost a lot of money. The surgery itself will cost more than $30,000 and the travel costs and other medical costs will be in the thousands.
As soon as I heard that the only thing keeping this little girl from getting the treatment she needs to overcome her cancer was money, I decided I was going to do everything in my power to raise that money for her.
Please help spread Melissa's amazing story by sharing this page along with her YouTube video with as many people as you can and by donating even just $1 to her fund.
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