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Blood drive planned for little girl with leukemia

| Saturday, July 20, 2013, 1:26 a.m.
Submitted
Sydney Hawk, 3, of Bridgeville, dressed for her first dance class September 2012. The active toddler was diagnosed with leukemia the beginning of March 2013.

Sisters Julie Ritenour and Jennifer Olack have recently worked to put together a replenishment blood drive for Sydney Hawk, the granddaughter of their friends Joe and Marty Hawk of Scottdale.

The drive will be held from 2 to 7 p.m. Monday in the Scottdale Fireman's Club, 405 Porter Ave.

Sydney Hawk, who turned 4 on May 22, was diagnosed with leukemia on March 5 after not responding to treatment for a sinus and ear infection. She then began chemotherapy treatments.

But after only two treatments, Sydney developed a severe infection on March 18, which caused her to spend 42 days in the Intensive Care Unit at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.

The Bridgeville girl's leukemia is in remission, but she will continue to undergo a 2½- to 3-year protocol of preventive chemotherapy treatment.

According to Marty Hawk's online journal updating her granddaughter's condition, in recent weeks, the chemotherapy treatments have continued to cause fevers and general discomfort for Sydney.

On July 13, Marty Hawk posted that Sydney woke up complaining of a slight headache, had increased heart rate and a slight fever. At first, doctors wanted to order a spinal tap, thinking that her headache was from increased intracranial pressure. Blood cultures were drawn at 4 a.m. The final consensus was that it was probably the chemotherapy delivered the day before that was the culprit of Sydney's symptoms.

Olack said they were really looking to do something for the family and thought that a blood drive would be much needed and appreciated.

Ritenour met with a representative from the Central Blood Bank, and the event was scheduled.

The sisters are hoping the community will come out to help Sydney and her family.

Rachel Basinger is a contributing writer.

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