SAN ANTONIO — The family of a three-year-old battling cancer is hoping her story inspires people in south Texas to roll up their sleeves and donate life-saving blood.
Amy Morkovsky’s leukemia was discovered almost by accident. On January 13th, during her brother Aiden’s annual checkup, her mother asked the doctor to look at a troubling rash. She was two at the time.
“He looked at me and said ‘He’s great, his counts are good and um, she has Leukemia. You’re going to have to go home, get packed, find a sitter for Aiden and head to the hospital because you’re going to be there for the next 10 days to start treatment,’” said Amy’s mother Brandi, her voice cracking at the memory.
Nearly six months later, after chemotherapy and several blood transfusions, Amy’s cancer is in remission.
“The blood transfusions were miraculous for her in that almost instantaneously after they were performed, just the color came back to her face, especially her lips,” said Amy’s father Ryan. “She had more energy, she wanted to play with her toys and her dolls and color in her coloring books and do the things that any two-year old would want to do.”
Amy’s blood type is O-negative. That means she can only receive blood from O-negative donors. The South Texas Blood and Tissue Center has been at critical levels for O blood types for months.
“There have been a few times where her treatment had to be halted temporarily until a blood transfusion could be performed because her cell counts were not what they needed to be to continue with treatment,” Ryan said.
Type O-negative blood can be given to anyone, so she could one day become a universal donor if she is able to beat the cancer.
“There is still intensive treatment, some of which was intended to start this week but because her blood cell counts were not what they needed to be and her ANC level specifically wasn’t what it needed she was not able to continue treatment this week.”
The South Texas Blood and Tissue Center held a blood drive in Amy’s honor this week and will hold two more Friday and Saturday at Rolling Oaks Mall.
Ryan wanted to thank all the donors that have helped his family in the past, present and future.
“You don’t know it, and you wouldn’t know it if you saw us walking by you at an H-E-B or walking past you at the mall, but you helped to save my daughter’s life,” he said.