Parents Plead For Blood As 4-Month-Old Battles Leukemia

By Arezow Doost, CBS 11 News

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Mary Lewis has refused to leave Children’s Medical Center of Dallas since New Year’s Day.

She’s there all day every day by her daughter Brianna’s bedside.  “I haven’t stepped foot outside.  It’s been 22 days and I haven’t left and I’m not going to.”

Brianna is almost four months old, and has Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) a cancer of the blood.

Mary says over the holidays Brianna was running a fever and so she got worried.

Brianna’s parents rushed her to the hospital in Tyler and after a number of tests found out she had Leukemia.  She was immediately brought to Children’s.

“It’s pretty crappy to find out on the first day of the New Year that it’s going to be the worst year of your life,” says Mary.

So far Brianna has had four surgeries and seven blood transfusions.  “You don’t want to see her with tubes in her nose and all over her body,” explains Ben, Brianna’s father.

While at the hospital the Lewis’ have started a movement of sorts on Facebook.  They’ve told anyone who will listen to go donate blood, not just to give to their little girl but all the other kids who need blood on a regular basis.

“You look at her face and it’s white and really slow respirations, that’s not being alive.  You give her blood and a few minutes later she is nice and pink and the happy baby I remember before all of this happened,” says Ben.

Carter Blood Care supplies blood to about 95% of health care facilities across North Texas, and as always they are in need of more blood.  From about Thanksgiving to February their donor numbers are down.

Type O negative and B negative are the types the blood center is in desperate need of.  “People just don’t know what kind of gift it is until you have to have it,” says Mary, “If it wasn’t for that person out there she may not be alive.”

The Lewis’ will be at the Children’s until the summer.  They are optimistic Brianna will go home and thankful for so many blood donations already.

“We have to fight this thing and I don’t see any other option other than her beating this thing and living normal childhood for the rest of her life,” says Ben.

If you would like to donate blood, check with the Red Cross, or Carter Blood Care.


One Comment

  1. humanitarikim says:

    I shall go donate tomorrow. It’s probably been 3 months since I last went. Thanks for the reminder. 🙂

  2. Renee Gentry says:

    I am also on the bone marow doner list.

  3. Leah says:

    This made me cry, Little Brianna does not deserve to go thought this, she is so innocent. I will pray for her every night. I have a very rare blood type and I plan on donating. If she is able to have my blood type and has to go through another blood transfusion I will recommend that they give my blood to her. She is an adorable baby and derserves a normal life.

  4. ginger says:

    this baby touched my heart, iam type o i will go donate tommorrow

  5. Mary Lewis says:

    Our whole reason to be on the news was not to get sympathy for our situation. Or to make people sad and upset. Not to ask for money or charitable donations or anything. We want people to donate blood, not just for little Brianna but for all the other children in this hospital who need regular blood transfusions. It’s the best and easiest gift anyone can give. We appreciate all those who want to help. Brianna has an account with Carter blood care. Her case number is 050209# donations will go to her regardless of blood type. O- is the universal blood type so if that’s you hurry up and donate! Thank you CBS for getting our Story out there!

    1. Sharon says:

      Dear Mary, I was deeply touched by Brianna’s story, and wanted to tell you, “THE DAY THAT WE PRAY, THE TIDE OF THE BATTLE TURNS!” (PSALM 56:9) I have been free of CHRONIC MYELOGENOUS LEUKEMIA for over a year. I am not on any medicine either, thanks to an excellent Dr., a blood transfusion, but most of all, my belief in God to heal me. I read God’s healing scriptures daily out loud, and still do. Please read healing scriptures over your precious daughter frequently, and BELIEVE IN GOD OUR HEALER! (Exodus 15:26) I am praying for all of you and BELIEVING GOD’S BEST for you. ^j^

    2. LUCY PAREDES says:


  6. Angela Wilkinson says:

    No excuses! It took me 10 years to get my blood iron up enough I could give and I’m still terrified of needles and I was in there on the 11th. Giving blood is an easy and extremely worth while cause. How many chance do you get in your life to literally and physically save someone or their child? How many things in this life can’t be bought with money?

  7. Penny says:

    Brianna is God’s child. His word says she is healed by his stripes. I pray i n the name of Jesus Brianna be healed.I Comand leukemia to be gone in Jesus name. God Bless you daily and give you strength.

  8. Cindy Hampton says:

    @Mary we are just all touched by Brianna’s story. You have brought attention to leukemia, children and blood donation. don’t ever apologize for being there for your child. childrens is a great hospital and you are in the right place. God bless you and your family.

  9. Kendra Sweet says:

    I’m still praying for you every day. Hunter and i are going to donate ASAP! And i’m trying to recruit others as well

  10. Kenneth says:

    So sad, and hopes for the best for this beautiful little girl. Donating here as well and I am scared to death of needles…needle phobic.

  11. Angela says:

    Cord Blood. The story didn’t say if they had tried a cord blood transfusion.
    No family and no 4 month old precious little girl should have to go throught this.
    I will keep them in my pryaers.

  12. Matt says:

    They said they started a movement on Facebook, is there a page we can add to help spread the word? In the world we live in, social Networking is a powerful tool and the more people who post this story on Facebook, the better our odds are of getting people to go donate.

    1. Rachel says:

      Matt, if you look on face book, there is an Event set up called “I want your blood!!!” and we have an adorable picture of Brianna with some little vampire teeth! Its a public event, and anyone is free to post on there. We would like for everyone who donates to post pictures of them donating- to keep the excitement up. Thank you to everyone for your support with Brianna! She is my little niece, and my heart is filled with such joy from all of you have given a part of yourself to help her and the others in need. Thank you!

  13. Ree Griffith says:

    Yes…what is the facebook page/link?

  14. Lance Navarro says:

    im wiling to help. i play arena football and im sure my teamates will be glad to help donate,as far as the facebok page goes there a link or anything ?

  15. Mary Lewis says:

    We are in the process of creating a group called “Brianna Lewis ” I have been updating my own personal facebook page. But created this one for more people to see. I’ll post more information on here once I get it all figured out. Little Brianna has had a rough night. With a cat scan that determined she has fluid on the brain containing a virus that is making her sicker and causing a horrible rash. She is in so much pain that we can’t even hold her anymore. Just changing her diaper is torture for her.

  16. Marjorie says:

    How long after a surgery can I donate? I had surgery yesterday for removal of my gallbladder.I am B negative but I am sure they wont let me donate right away, how long can I wait before donating, Does anyone know?

    1. Angela Wilkinson says:

      According to their website you can give blood if you’ve recently had major surgery without being a recipient of a blood donation. However keep in mind that donor health is a primary concern so make sure you feel well enough and give them a call!

      1. Marjorie says:

        WEll, I am concern about the medication in my blood.

  17. Glen Mcbeth says:

    Good luck!

  18. Mary Lewis says:

    We ask if you donate anything other than blood that you donate to the American cancer society. To help others fight this horrible disease so many people are facing on a daily basis.

    1. JESSICA says:


      1. Mary Lewis says:

        Any blood type can donate to her

  19. April Wesson Driggers says:

    I’m O negative and will find out what I need to do to donate to your beautiful little angel. I will pray healing over her and for rest and peace for your family. I listen to the electric swing just rocking my little guy who is asleep behind me right now and I can’t imagine not doing this for you…

  20. Amanda says:

    As soon as I read this I called my mom because she is O neg…she will be donating ASAP. I would really like to be able to follow Brianna’s progress but I cannot find the info about her or her blood drive event on Facebook. Is there a link or some other place to look?

    1. Mary Lewis says:

      I created a “group” on facebook that is called Brianna Lewis. And has a picture of her right out of surgery. I’m trying to figure out a link for people to click on thAt will take you to it but as you can imagine I’m pressed for time.

      1. Amanda says:

        Of course, I completely understand. I will continue to try and look for it on Facebook. Thank you for taking the time to answer my reply.

      2. Tisha says:

        this is the direct link to Brianna’s page. Please go join, post, spread the word, and support Brianna and her family in this time of need.

  21. Tashana says:

    I am O negative and will come out and donate asap

  22. Rhonda Lewis says:

    I am so sorry to hear about your daughter I am praying for her and your family…. God is with you, you are both such amazing parents……I wil pass this through my facebook and get a prayer line started… Blessings

  23. Liza says:

    This will be my first time donating blood but not my last. Thank you for spreading this story, especially to those who have not really thought about the huge impact it will make on saving lives. This is the least I can do. Stay strong!!

    1. Liza says:

      By the way, I am setting up an appointment…what kind of donation does it need to be?

      1. Mary Lewis says:

        This is the facebook Group we created. We are trying to keep it updated from here on out. All donations are accepted rather it is platelets or blood. Talk to your local carter blood care to see which donation works best for you! Thank you all so much for the love and support for our little Brianna.!!

  24. Elaine says:

    I donated at Carter! If there is a different # for Am. Red Cross please post it so I can pass it on to friends and coworkers. Hope things are getting better. All the best to you all.

  25. Vaidyan says:

    Probabily Ayurveda is the only treatment to cure AML with out side effects, and amazingly quicker. In Indian rural there are Vaidya practitionrs who do this job, saving many lives. (I am eager to see how can I help the child.)

    One of such sites:

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