From sister to sister: A life-saving gift against all odds

LENEXA, Kan. - A bone marrow transplant is the only hope 5-year-old Clara Peters has for a cure. She was diagnosed with a bone marrow disorder this summer. As it turns out, her perfect donor match was sleeping in the bedroom next door.

Meet Clara

Clara is 5 years old. She just started kindergarten at Manchester Park Elementary School in Lenexa, Kan. She loves ice cream, especially Neapolitan, and she loves building with Legos.  

Most recently, a serious medical disorder became an addition to her life story.

"Sometimes it's good," she said. "Sometimes it's scary."

About a month ago, Clara was hospitalized and diagnosed with severe Aplastic Anemia . She wears a medical bracelet all the time because she visits the hospital almost daily for blood checks.

"She gets platelets about once a week and red cell transfusions about once every 10 days," Clara's mother, Jessica, said.

Clara will follow that routine until Sept. 24 when she will receive a new immune system.

"Bow and arrow?" she said questionably.

Bow and arrow sounds a lot like bone marrow to a 5-year-old.  What she meant to say was that her sister, Ellie, was going to give her the gift of a possible cure.

Meet Clara's twin sisters

Doctors told the Peters family there was a one in four chance of finding a perfect sibling match. Everyone else depends on the bone marrow registry.

But luckily, 9-year-old Ellie is the perfect match for Clara's bone marrow transplant.

"Take something out of your body and but it into somebody else's and it just fixes them, it's pretty cool," Ellie said as she explained the process.

Ellie's fraternal twin sister, Ava, is not a match. However, she has found something to donate.

Ava and Clara both donated their hair to Locks of Love before Clara's diagnosis. But thankfully, the salon hadn't send it away yet. Clara will get to use it as either a wig or hairpiece after she starts chemotherapy.

Clara's medical need has opened up their eyes to the importance of the bone marrow registry.  In fact, they've planned a bone marrow drive for Oct. 27. It will take place between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the girls' school, Manchester Park Elementary in Lenexa.

"We're seeing on both sides, it's absolutely worth being a part of that registry because something that can take an hour or day of your time will save someone else's life," Jessica said.

All it takes to put your name on the registry is a quick swab of the inside of your cheek.

Clara's father, Evan, has been on the registry for quite some time. Since her diagnosis, he has been contacted as a potential match for someone else.

To learn more about the bone marrow registry and how you can sign up, check out http://marrow.org/Home.aspx .

Print this article Back to Top

Comments