A two-year old girl makes an incredible sacrifice to save her sister’s life (5 Photos & Video)
Meet Vanessa Gissel. Vanessa is a 6-year-old with sickle cell anemia. Treatment for this disease can be quite difficult as it is done via a bone marrow transplant and the donor needs to be a near-perfect match or the recipients’ body could reject it. But Vanessa found her perfect match – her two-year-old sister, Sarah.
Their parents immediately recognized the sacrifice and tried to be supportive in every way they could. For example, Vanessa had always wanted blue hair, so her dad took her to the beauty salon and had their hair died together.
Eventually he even shaved his head so that Vanessa knew her whole family was supporting her.
The transplant was anything but easy. It’s very painful to have done and Sarah cried throughout the entire procedure, but it was her sister who faced a tougher time. After the operation, Vanessa spent 71 grueling days at the Aflac Cancer & Blood Disorders Center of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, as well as at the Atlanta Ronald McDonald House.
The results came back. The first round at 3 months, and the second at six. Thankfully, Vanessa was in remission. Vanessa’s mother summed up how the future of her daughter and family has changed: “She’ll be able to get married, have kids, pick a profession. I feel like we can do anything now.”
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Vanessa's Journey from Brendan Sullivan on Vimeo.