NBC

Denton Girl Finds Potential Match for Bone Marrow Transplant

A little girl battling a rare disease just got some very good news. Ten-year-old Hallie Barnard has a rare blood disorder known as Diamond Blackfan Anemia (DBA) and her family has been searching for a life-saving bone marrow match since she was a baby. They have finally found their match, but the fight is not over.

Most of us are lucky to find one place that feels like home. But for Hallie Barnard, the front lobby of Fort Worth's police and fire headquarters is like a second living room.

The men and women she's met there have become part of her family.

"I think we kind of like know each other,” Hallie said. “We understand each other. We like to go to Taco Bell with each other."

They’ve also become her army, mobilizing bone marrow registry drives and co-starring in two music videos with her, all to raise awareness and help Hallie find her one in a million match.

"There's a 1% chance in the whole world that you'll find your perfect match and 3% of Americans are on the registry so that makes that even harder," said Hallie’s mom Elyse Barnard.

The Barnard family started the non-profit Hallie's Heroes to boost those chances.

"With a community behind us and rallying, it has brought over 6,000 people on the registry and we've found over 50 matches for other families, which is an incredible miracle to be involved in," Elyse Barnard said.

Then two weeks ago, they got the news. After a 9-year search, Hallie's perfect match had finally come.

"And I was like wooow! That is some crazy stuff!" Hallie said.

But despite the relief, there are still obstacles ahead. Half of all donors who are matched wind up not following through.

"If you sign up, you gotta do it," Hallie said. “If you’re called, you really should because you just agreed to save someone’s life.”

The family won't know if theirs has agreed until later this month. Her supporters are praying for a yes.

"It might cause me pain, I may be scared but I'm going to do it because it means that this little girl gets to grow up,” said Fort Worth Police Officer Brandi Kamper. “Because Lord knows what she's going to do, right? There's no telling."

While she waits, Hallie is still fighting. On Wednesday, she filmed a firefighter PSA to encourage more people to register to donate.

“We need you to swab just in case you’re a match for someone else,” she said in the video.

On Friday, the Denton County Sheriff’s Office hosted a bone marrow donor drive in Hallie’s honor.

Hallie will carry on her mission, hoping to bring the same life-saving gift to thousands of other families.

"I'm not the sick kid with DBA who doesn't have her match,” Hallie said. “I'm the kid who found a match, who gives hope to all the other kids with DBA."

Hallie's team of doctors is also working to find the best time to do her transplant. She's stable right now, but that could change at any time.

For more information or to learn how to register to be a bone marrow donor, click here.

NBC5's Seth Voorhees contributed to this report.

Contact Us