Child with rare disease changes Christmas

By Sara Story - bio | email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - An East Texas family's fight for their little girl is changing the way others celebrate Christmas this year. Every year, the Good family of Tyler covers their home in lights. People come from all over just to get a glimpse.

This Christmas, the Good's 5-year-old is fighting a rare disease. Ken Good said his house will stay dark until his daughter comes home. This year, not a single bulb hangs on the Good home.

"We are not here. We are not here in spirit. We are not here in mind," Good said.

That's because the Good family is putting all of their energy into the treatment of their daughter, Laurel. The 5-year-old was born with a rare disease called T.A.R.S. Syndrome. She is missing a bone in both of her forearms and has low platelets.

"She was supposed to outgrow her platelet issue. Probably 90% of kids do, and she has decided not to, and she got to the point where she needs a bone marrow transplant," Good said.

Laurel will spend this holiday season in a Dallas hospital.

"Laurel has been telling everybody that she is going to Dallas to be fixed...We've gone through chemo. We've killed her bone marrow. We've killed her immune system, and we gave her new bone marrow last Friday and we are waiting for it to kick in," Good said.

Laurel's mom stays with her in Dallas, while Ken travels back and forth with their 11-year-old daughter, Darby. The family stays connected via Skype.

Ken said Laurel is in an isolated room and can only receive cards, but this gift has arrived in the dozens.

"We are hoping and praying that we are all back to normal next year, and we will have a huge celebration," Good said.

Ken said Laurel will remain in the Dallas hospital until the end of January. Once she leaves the hospital, she must stay in Dallas until March. The family is not asking for donations but would appreciate your thoughts and prayers.

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