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Students wear pink for classmate undergoing bone marrow transplant for rare leukemia

Posted at 5:58 PM, Sep 24, 2015

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Kids from Grandville Central Elementary School enjoyed the first day of Artprize in downtown Grand Rapids. The field trip allowed them to get outside of the classroom, but more importantly, it gave them a chance to display some solidarity for a special friend. Most of them wore pink and brought a dollar to donate.

That friend is Lola DeYoung. FOX 17 told Lola's story back in July. The playful 9-year-old is battling a rare form of leukemia. At the time, she needed a bone marrow transplant. Her father, Matt DeYoung, told FOX 17 how the odds were stacked against her. "There isn`t anyone in the current registry--20 million people--that matches Lola's DNA," he said.

Lola told us she's looking for "a unicorn," meaning she's looking for a rare genetic match.

Also in July, the Grandville community rallied to find her an exact match by holding a bone marrow drive. Then there was some hope. A possible unicorn appeared.

Someone with a genetic "9 out of 10" match was found, according to Lola’s teacher. Danielle Dykhuis said Lola is now in Ann Arbor undergoing her second round of treatment for the bone marrow transplant.

"This is a scary time right now," " Dykhuis said. "This treatment right now that she will have tomorrow will be one of the hardest, and it will see if this actually works for her, and we hope for the best for her."

"All the kids that wore pink all brought a dollar or whatever they could to school to day, just to try to give her some extra support money," she explained.

Dykhuis said the students are planning to do other fundraisers throughout the rest of the school year.