Fort Worth police officers are hosting a bone marrow drive Saturday after making friends with a little girl who stopped them to thank them for their service and revealed she has a rare blood disorder.
"My mom and dad always taught me to go up to police officers and say thank you for your service, and I did," said 7-year-old Hallie Barnard.
Hallie is fighting Diamond Blackfan anemia. Only 14,000 people in the country have it.
"It's sad. Everybody is scared. They have frowns on their face," Hallie said. "You have to go into this big hospital with doctors all around you which makes you scared even more."
"It's brutal, because as a parent, you're supposed to make them better. And when you can't make them better, it just tears you up," said her mother, Elyse Barnard.
Hallie needs a donor match to help fight the disease, so when she saw a group of Fort Worth police officers one day, she knew there was something special.
"I knew right away they could be double heroes, and I could swab them," Hallie said.
Officer Kent Bickley is one of those double heroes.
"About halfway through dinner we get approached by this little girl, and she was full of life and wanted to tell her story," Bickley said.
That random encounter at a Fort Worth restaurant has now turned into a movement, as Bickley and his fellow officers teamed up with Delete Blood Cancer.
Together, they set up a bone marrow registration for Oct. 10 to help find Hallie or any one of the 14,000 patients a match to save their life.
"It was fate that we were in there that night. It was fate that they walked in. And I just feel we are going to find her match," Elyse Barnard said.
The Fort Worth Police Officer's Association bone marrow registry event is free and runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Park Plaza Building parking lot, at 2501 Parkview Drive, near Interstate 30 and Forest Park Boulevard.
There will be a special appearance by the superhero Iron Man, along with cooking, music and raffle prizes.