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Community rallies behind Valley teen battling leukemia

During a time when so many people are struggling due to the pandemic, one Valley family and their daughter’s positive diagnosis has led to another health battle.

PHOENIX — During a time when so many people are struggling due to the pandemic, one Valley family and their daughter’s positive diagnosis has led to another health battle.

But a few kind hearts have found a way to help that local teen who’s in the biggest battle of her life.

A line of people outside the soda shop off Baseline and Ellsworth in the East Valley wrapped around the parking lot, all of them with the same goal.

“It feels good to help out in some way,” Valerie Garcia said. “I have three children.”

Garcia patiently waited to purchase soft drinks, happily knowing that it will help a young teen. 

“As parents, it’s the hardest thing in the world to watch your child suffer,” Erin Ulrich, 14-year-old Lydia’s mom.

Ulrich has been sitting bedside at the hospital, double-masked with her daughter.

Just days ago, Lydia was feeling a lot of pain, and her family thought it might be COVID-related since she tested positive.

Her father drove her to the emergency room when the pain became unbearable.

“He brought her to the hospital that’s over by his house, and they transported her over here to Cardon's, and that’s where they confirmed she had leukemia as well as COVID,” Ulrich explained.

Hearing the dreadful news, Lydia’s family acted fast. The doctors have started her on a chemotherapy regiment and Lydia has volunteered to be a test study for even more advanced treatment.

“She’ll still get chemo, but it’s going to be a little different the way that they administer it to her,” Ulrich said. “So, they’re hoping to discover if these new ways make the symptoms and side effects less on the patients.”

And Lydia couldn’t be more gracious for a community behind her.

“I really appreciate all of it so much,” Lydia said. “I never thought that I would have this kind of support throughout the whole thing.”

If you would like to donate to the family’s GoFundMe account, click here.

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