A Holiday of Hardship

Posted November 5th, 2014 by Be The Match and filed in News
Show Content

Bella 1The Christmas season of 2013 is one the Ward family will never forget. On Dec. 6th, Harry and Lisa and their children, Brianna (8) and Isabella (3) put the finishing touches on their Christmas tree. Less than 24 hours later, as the tree continued to sparkle in their living room, the Ward family’s Christmas plans would abruptly change.

On Dec. 7th, Lisa went upstairs to check on her sleeping three-year-old daughter, Bella. Right away, Lisa knew something was wrong. With a fever of 103.5, Harry and Lisa rushed Bella to the hospital. And just two days later, Bella was diagnosed with APML, acute promyelocytic leukemia, a rare form of childhood leukemia.

42 days would pass before the family would return home. This meant Christmas would be spent in the ICU. “Usually we’re celebrating as a family and the weekend that Bella was diagnosed I was supposed to go Christmas shopping.” Lisa puts it bluntly, “it didn’t work out that way.”

After 3 rounds of inpatient chemotherapy, little Bella has been through more hardships in her four years than some experience in their entire lives. But the battle isn’t simply being fought by Bella, her family and friends have suited up to join her.

Bella’s most steadfast supporter: her mother. Overnight, Lisa resigned from her job and became a full time caregiver. “When Bella was first diagnosed,” she says, “I didn’t leave her side. I think I went home for one minute to take a shower and I came right back. My nerves were so shot from being away from her that I threw up.”

Bella 2Lisa and her family have been touched by the support they have received. Bella’s doctor’s shared that she may need a marrow transplant so, in the beginning of April, the family held a Be The Match Registry drive. With over 200 people showing up, Lisa recalls, “It was emotional to see everyone come out wanting to help my child.”

Unfortunately, Bella’s story is simply one among thousands. In fact, every 4 minutes, an infant, child or adult is diagnosed with a blood cancer. You can help children like Bella. You can give hope to the thousands of patients around the world in desperate need.

As the holidays approach, cancer doesn’t take time off. Little Bella is fighting for her life. Currently, her cancer is being managed by chemotherapy and medications. The family prays that she will not need a marrow transplant, but they know that Be The Match is there for them if that day arrives.

There is no better way to show your support than by making a gift to Be The Match. This holiday season; give the greatest gift of all –the gift of life!

Give today.

15 Responses to “A Holiday of Hardship”

  1. Dee says:

    Has a match been found for little Bella yet?? I am already in the Be A Match registry and would be honored to help herbor anyone fighting cancer. I have lost family to leukemia and it’s hard. I am praying a match has been or will be found in case she needs a transplant!! ☝

  2. Allison Coensgen says:

    I hope your daughter finds a donor, I haven’t been registered long but I hope I have the chance to save someone’s life. I hope someone is able to help your little girl.

  3. shetal says:

    I am registered with be the match..please let me know if I can help

  4. aften holden garcia says:

    I am registered! Please let me know if there’s anything I can do to help!
    I’ve been registered for a year now and haven’t been notified for any matches. I hope one day I’ll be able to help someone in need!
    Sending prayers to your little one and hope a match is found asap!

  5. Lynn says:

    I believe from Bella’s page she does not need a transplant. From what I understand she is in remission. THANK THE LORD!!!!!! May she live forever cancer free.

  6. Ravin says:

    I’m registered praying for her total healing!

  7. Lisa Ward says:


    At the current time Bella does not need a transplant, but like Be The Match said, if there ever was a need .. they would be there for us like they are for everyone.

    Thank you ALL for your love and support !

  8. Tina moore says:

    I’m willing to be tested to see if I’m a match , prayers lil one ..

  9. Ashley Simrau says:

    Praying for Bella!
    I’m in the registry and would be willing to be a donor! We love Bella!

  10. Eric says:

    I’m in the registry. Please let me know if I’d be a match!

    • Jean Hansen says:

      I’m registered, too. I was a match for someone else but don’t know why it fell through. I’m still waiting to help.

  11. Karen Thrift says:

    Prayers for Bella and her family. This reminds me I need to update my contact info. with the Red Cross. I was typed years ago, never needed, and have moved. Would be awful to have a match and not be able to contact them.

  12. Kimberly says:

    I had AML as an adult. Luckily I did not have to have a bone marrow transplant. I would be in the registry if I could be but I will never be able to donate. Thank you for all of the selfless people that donate. Prayers for this precious child and all children that are fighting this disease!!!

    • admin says:

      Hi Kimberly – Thank you for sharing your story with us. Be sure to keep in mind these other ways to support the cause: http://bethematch.org/Support-the-Cause/

      Best wishes,
      Be The Match

  13. marian moore says:

    We lost our beautiful son to ALL and it is very difficult but we are coping better every day. I wish your daughter well. Our family
    are registered and they also give blood and platelets. Good luck and God bless.

Leave a Reply