Kara Loader is just like any sixth grade girl. She’s been playing the violin for seven years, loves softball, and says she’s really good at school. She’s a huge Taylor Swift fan, and she has a lot of friends. But something sets Kara apart from her friends and classmates, though it’s nothing you’d be able to see on the outside.
11-year-old Kara has been battling severe congenital neutropenia since birth. Neutropenia is a rare blood disorder, meaning her body doesn’t make enough neutrophils in her white blood cells. So when Kara gets sick, or even gets a cut, her body may not fight off the infection as quickly.
Kara has to be extra cautious and carry a medical kit with her at school, and when she gets really sick, Kara visits a hematology and oncology specialist at the Cleveland Clinic. She takes a shot of neupogen every day, which helps her build her neutrophils. However, she has to watch how much she takes, because the drug increases the risk of developing leukemia.
Kara has become a bit of a celebrity of her own in the neutropenia community. She said her video inspired a woman in her 30’s to talk about the disorder for the first time .”She always thought that it wasn’t okay, like, it wasn’t normal to tell people that you actually have it. And she said that my video actually gave her the courage to tell it to other people,” Kara said.
Kara said she has one message for anyone else battling neutropenia: “I would tell them everything’s going to be okay.” Kara and her family remain in contact with families they have encountered in the hospitals and at a yearly conference for neutropenia.
Ariana-Leilani also has suffered from neutropenia. Sign her petition to assure she gets proper treatment and protection from abuse.
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