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Community asked to support to support Tayla

Tayla Smith is not letting Aplastic Anemia keep her down.
Tayla’s family spent the afternoon on Monday, March 23, at Fishery Park in Erwin as Tayla, brother, Trenton, and the rest of her family took in the day enjoying the activities on the playground.
It was a day without treatment, a day with no worries and mother, Felicia, is hoping her daughter’s story will inspire others.
“She was diagnosed two years ago,” she said of Tayla’s battle with Aplastic Anemia.
At the age of nine, Tayla has a disease that occurs with a bone marrow failure in the body. This only affects 600-900 people a year in the United States, according to the Aplastic Anemia and MDS International Foundation.
Since Tayla’s diagnosis, the Tice family has had to travel from Nashville to Cincinnati for tests and treatments, including multiple blood transfusions, surgeries and bone marrow biopsies. Due to cytotoxic medication, Tayla has made more hospital visits than she could count, Felicia added.
A bone marrow transplant is up next for Tayla, but will require months of hospitalization and cannot be performed locally. As the family prepares, Felicia had to take off work to be with her daughter.
The family is now raising money for Tayla as she begins her journey for a transplant. Currently underway is a fundraiser by the family with the creation of bracelets featuring uplifting quotes and phrases. The bracelets are being sold at $12 each, while charms are also being sold at $3 each.
All proceeds from the fundraiser will go toward Tayla’s fight with Aplastic Anemia.
“We want to do this to help Tayla,” Felicia said, “and use her story to raise awareness about the disease.”
Donations can also be accepted at Mountain Commerce Bank in an account named “Hope for Tayla.”
The family is currently in the beginning stages of raising awareness, Felicia added. The overall goal will be to host a blood drive following the school year.
Community members are encouraged to follow Tayla’s story online by visiting Facebook.com/supporttaylasfight or Felicia can be contacted at [email protected] for more information.
If individuals are unable to help financially, blood donations are also needed. Felicia also asked the community to visit Bethematch.org to help raise awareness for the disease by sharing the site.