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Family members of a local girl fighting cancer bled Wednesday to show their gratitude to community members.
The family of Brooklyn Disselkamp, 15 months, gave blood at the Hardin/LaRue Service Center of the American Red Cross in Elizabethtown to thank area people for their support as the Elizabethtown girl fights Stage 4 neuroblastoma – a pediatric cancer that creates tumors in the body and tumor cells in bone marrow.
Community support for the girl and her family in the form of benefits, donations, a blood drive, a concert and other events has allowed her parents to pay two months on their home and have enough money for food and utilities while they stay by Brooklyn’s side in the hospital, said Doris Disselkamp, Brooklyn’s grandmother.
She said her family brainstormed about a way to repay some of that generosity and decided to give blood that can be used by those in need.
Her granddaughter has benefited so far from about nine pints of blood.
Doris, of Cecilia, said she never expected the reaction friends, neighbors and strangers would have to Brooklyn’s fight.
“It was hard to see so many people caring so much,” she said. “It’s just too much.”
Justin Disselkamp, Brooklyn’s uncle, was one of the family members who came up with the idea of giving back in some way after the flood of support.
“It’s been overwhelming,” he said. “It’s been really neat to see the community support.”
Justin , of Rineyville, said giving blood can help anyone as area residents have helped his niece.
“We’re an everyday family like everyone else out here,” he said. “We’re a caring, loving, good family, and we’re doing everything we can to help Brooklyn.”
Jamie Disselkamp lay a few feet from Justin, her husband, as both filled bags with blood.
She said her family is known in the area because her husband in one of 13 children.
The positive response from community members helps them stay motivated, she said.
“We feel empowered by that,” she said.
The family is going through a negative experience, and Brooklyn has more challenges to meet, Jamie said.
“We’re so grateful,” she said. “We are overwhelmed at times. We feel so supported by the community. It has really wrapped its hands around us and is going to be with us on this journey, I think.”
Amber Coulter can be reached at (270) 505-1746 or email@example.com.