De Leon residents Cheri Morton and Mika McInroe have organized a blood and platelet drive for 10-year-old Ella Plaunty to take place from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 21, at Double N Cowboy Church.

On Nov. 20, Ella’s mom, Baylor, took her to the doctor and inquired about some spots that had appeared on Ella. After receiving bloodwork, Ella was quickly sent to Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth.

Leukemia was ruled out, but Ella had a virus in her bone marrow, which was causing her platelets to drop.

Not long after that, Ella went back to Cook Children’s for two platelet transfusions but was only able to receive one due to the shortage of platelets at the hospital.

When Morton and McInroe heard the news, they started brainstorming ways they could help. McInroe came up with the idea to organize a blood and platelet drive.

“All 78 slots to donate were filled within five hours of us posting the link to sign up,” McInroe said.

Over 150 people committed to donate, but McInroe and Morton were only able to get two buses that could only hold 78 people in such a short time frame.

“We knew we would have a huge response from the community,” McInroe said. “The amount we have signed up for this donation is huge and will help Ella and many other children.”

“We are amazed at how people jumped in to help,” Morton said.

Since the start of the drive, other community members have stepped up to start a gofundme for the Plaunty family and another blood drive has been started as well.

Morton and McInroe are thankful that they can help Ella. Morton describes the fifth grader as “full of spirit” and says she “loves everything slime.”