Community Rallies Around Young Leukemia Patient

Children wear silly balloon hats and play classic carnival games.
It looks like something out of a county fair, but this is something much more meaningful. Its a benefit to help a beautiful young girl facing an unimaginable challenge.

Three-year-old Stella was diagnosed with leukemia back in March, and Saturday the community came together to show both their financial and moral support.

While Stella's parents still struggle to come to terms with their daughter's illness, they say the show of support is a tremendous help.

"Everyday we wake up and think this is a dream but it is not. It is just really awesome to see a community come together to support us and especially support Stella." says Stella's mom Brooke Hartman .

Stella and her parents live in Appleton but are originally from Wisconsin Rapids.

Once people in their hometown heard about their situation they knew they needed to help.

Thanks, in large part, to Brooke's childhood friend Abbie Olesen who helped organize the fundraiser.

"Brooke and Steve keep saying thank you, but really it is thank you for doing something to let us show you where we feel like we can actually feel like we can help out because it is such a tough time for them." Olesen said.

Sadly, people in Wood County are all too familiar with children dealing with leukemia.

Treyden Kurtzweil captured the hearts of people everywhere as he bravely fought the same type of leukemia as Stella is currently fighting now.

In Treyden's case, supporters kept a positive attitude throughout his fight. That is exactly what Stella's friends and family are doing as well.

While Stella faces a long road to recovery ahead, her family wants everyone to know that their thoughts and prayers have not gone unnoticed.

A lot of times this can feel really isolating and it can feel really alone, but knowing that their are so many people that love us and care about us and just want to help us makes us feel better about the whole situation. " said Brooke.

If you would like to follow Stella's progress through her treatment, you can Like the "Strength for Stella" page on Facebook.

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