LEWISTOWN-Ava Wood, 10, daughter of Jen and Josh Wood, Yukon, Oklahoma, was a typical little girl last year at this time.

She played with her siblings, Isabel and Owen and most likely had the typical minimal squabbles siblings tend to have.

She loves dogs, unicorns and the color pink.

And, Miss Ava absolutely loves gymnastics.

Dec. 27 of last year she won five medals during a gymnastics meet.

Five!

But, the very next day she was diagnosed with severe aplastic anemia.

When a person is diagnosed with aplastic anemia it means their bone marrow no longer makes red blood cells, white blood cells or platelets.

As such, Ava couldn’t make blood and was dependent on transfusions.

She has received over 80 blood products since her diagnosis.

July this year she received the gift of a bone marrow transplant from an unrelated donor from Europe for a chance to be cured.

No one from her immediate family was a match.

Following a bone marrow transplant, a big fear is the recipient rejecting the donor’s marrow, but Ava has surpassed 100 days, which is a huge milestone.

Passing 100 days means the greatest risk for critical side effects has passed and stem cells have redrafted making new red blood cells.

Readers may be touched by this story, but most likely are wondering what it has to do with Fulton County.

Ava’s roots run deep in this area.

She is the granddaughter of Roberta ‘Bobbi’ Hough, Lewistown; great-granddaughter of the late Louis Hough, Lewistown; great-niece of Doyle and Paula Hough and Richard and Brenda Hough all of Lewistown.

Her family said through a press release, “Her roots run deep in Fulton County going back many generations. We are so grateful that from day one this community and Ava’s relatives had daily prayers, thoughts and concerns for our precious princess warrior, Ava. We were off to battle and win the war together as family and friends lifted Ava up for complete healing.

By faith, God the Almighty Physician answered those prayers! God has given Ava a chance to live, to run, to play, to giggle and to be a child again.

The doctors and staff at the Children’s Hospital at OU Medicine were another answer to prayer. We are forever thankful! Prayer is the answer; God is the answer.”

Having a child with a serious illness can be quite expensive.

There are day-to-day expenses some don’t take into consideration.

A benefit for Ava will be held Saturday, Nov. 16 beginning at 5:30 p.m. at the Lewistown Church of the Nazarene Fellowship Hall, 13192 US-24, Lewistown.

For $7 a spaghetti meal may be purchased which includes garlic bread, tea and coffee. Music will be provided with all proceeds going directly to the Wood family.

Additionally, Ava and her family are hoping to add people to the bone marrow registry so other children and adults with blood cancer and blood diseases are given a chance to find their matching donor to have a life saving transplant.

All it takes is a cheek swab to register.

If you are unable to make it, you may make a donation or register to be added to the bone marrow registry online DKMS.ORG.