Remember Hallie Barnard, the 10-year-old Texas girl with a rare blood disorder who was rounding up golf fans at the 2017 DEAN & DELUCA Invitational to convince them to get their cheeks swabbed in order to potentially save a life?
After nine years of waiting, Hallie, who has Diamond-Blackfan anemia (DBA) and requires a bone marrow transplant herself, has found a potential donor.
“A healthy person has a red blood cell count between 11 and 15. When people get sick, they drop down to an 11,” her mother, Elyse Barnard, told us. “At nine, that’s when hematologists and oncologists are brought in. At seven, you need a blood transfusion. Hallie was at a four when we first walked into the emergency room.”
Hallie has had a strong contingent of North Texans behind her as she’s endured countless transfusions and scary illnesses. And a big part of that community has been the Fort Worth Police Department, who even made her an honorary police officer.
In fact, Hallie considers Fort Worth PD officer Brandi Kamper one of her best friends. And, the feeling is mutual. The two even partner up to shoot a music video — long before police departments all over the country were doing it — and lip-synched to Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” in order to raise awareness for DBA and to encourage others to join the national registry.
So, when Hallie discovered that there is someone out there who’s a match for her, she couldn’t wait to tell Kamper and other police department supporters.
Lucky for us, there’s video of Hallie surprising Kamper with the news.
It’s certainly a joyous time for Hallie, her family and her supporters, but there’s still a long road ahead.
“It’s based on what her donor chooses to do,” Elyse told the Denton Record-Chronicle. “We do know statistically that 50 percent of donors choose not to donate when they’re called upon. So we’re hoping and praying that, you know, our donor will do the right thing when they get the call.”
If there’s a green light from the donor, Hallie will meet with her medical team in August to go over transplant options.
And, if you’re interested in getting swabbed and joining the national registry, visit DKMS.org.