Zara Blay was the most precious little 3-year-old girl that lit up any room she walked into, and put a smile on peoples’ faces every single day. She was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia on Christmas of 2018, and lost her battle two weeks later, only a day before she was scheduled to be discharged from the hospital. As close friends of the Blay family, we wanted to launch this fundraiser campaign with the hopes of helping to prevent this from happening to any child or family ever again. Rest In Peace Zara. We love you.
UPDATE from Zara's mother, Kim:
Zara had a few illnesses in December 2018 including strep throat and a virus. After these did not clear and she looked pale, we took her to HoCo ER where they drew labs which showed a hemoglobin of 3.6, high WBC's, low platelets. She was rushed to JHH PICU and diagnosed the next day with Acute lymphoblastic leukemia after a bone marrow biopsy, PICC line placement, and Lumbar puncture on 12/26. She was transferred to oncology floor on 12/27 where she received lots of blood products, a total of 4 LP's including intrathecal chemo, IV chemo. We were told a 94% cure rate and Zara was handling chemo well. Tired but eating well, no fevers, plan to discharge on 1/9/19 after chemo with plans to return to onc clinic on 1/11/19. The evening of 1/7 she developed a stomach ache, given zofran, made NPO for CTscan and before we could get scanned she vomited, spiked a fever, and immediately went into cardiac arrest within an hour. They attempted resuscitation for several hours including placing on ECMO. This was unsuccessful and she died on 1/8/19 at 5:27 AM in the Hopkins PICU. We searched for answers for weeks and she was found to have bacillus cereus in her blood, unknown source. A bacteria that is plentiful in the environment and rarely makes you sick but when it does releases several toxins which cause liver damage almost immediately. We are devastated, angry, and sad but will never forget our sweet Z who was an angel on earth and an angel now in heaven.