PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – This time of year, a lot of people find ways to give back whether it’s donating money or time.
Today, people stepped up to donate blood for a little girl battling leukemia.
She’s only 5-years-old and has already been through a lot in her life.
In September, Atalaya Machi, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, or ALL.
“I didn’t know anything about it until she was diagnosed so, pretty much I think I was stunned for a good two days,” Rebecca Goyke, Atalaya’s mother, said.
She’s had two blood transfusions and is now receiving intense chemotherapy treatments.
Although Atalaya is responding well, it will be a long road to recovery.
Treatments will likely last at least two-and-a-half years.
While she focuses on getting better, her family and friends and even strangers are pulling together.
A blood drive was held at Propel East School in Turtle Creek on Wednesday.
Atalaya’s kindergarten teacher helped to organize the event. She said it’s been tough talking to the other kids about leukemia.
“It’s hard to explain to 5 and 6-year-olds what leukemia is, what it means to get the treatments and why. They don’t understand well why can’t she be in school?” Rosie Oddo said.
Atalaya’s family members said they are beyond thankful not only for the people who donated, but for all of the support they’ve received.
“Everyone has been so great. I can’t thank everybody enough for everything they have done,” Goyke said.
If you weren’t able to make a donation today, you can still do so at Central Blood Bank, under Atalaya’s name.
Also, a fund has been set up to help out the family at Citizens Bank.