Kids & Family

Girl Becomes Belle Of The Ball For A Serious Cause

Fundraiser will help her family afford a bone marrow transplant she desperately needs.

When longtime teacher Sharon Bruce passed away from cancer in 2014, a fundraising event called Sharon's Cinderella Ball was created to raise scholarship money for high school students.

For its fifth year, the Cinderella Ball added a special recipient to the mix. In addition to the scholarships, the ball donated a portion of the proceeds to help 11-year old Leah Johnson, who is battling leukemia and needs a bone marrow transplant as part of her treatment.

Leah could have her transplant as early as this week.Leah's Little Corner/Facebook

Leah was diagnosed with Early T-Cell Precursor Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in June of 2019. "It's been hard because, well, as you're a kid, you want to enjoy being a kid. And going through chemo, it's kind of like you have to be more mature and adult to do it," Leah told WTOL in Toledo, OH.

The inspiration to include Leah in this year's Cinderella Ball was a quote of Sharon Bruce's. According to the Cinderella Ball website, "In Sharon's last months, she repeatedly said,'I'm dying of cancer. But I've had a good life. I'm not young and I'm not a parent of a young child.' So using those wise words, the board intends to financially help a family living that nightmare: a child diagnosed with cancer."

Little ball-goers meet Cinderella.Sharon's Cinderella Ball

The funds raised will go a long way towards helping the Johnsons afford Leah's bone marrow transplant. "I am still in awe at the number of you who came forward to shower us with your love," said Leah's mother, Andrea Johnson, on Facebook. "It is difficult to adequately describe how we fell about what you've done for us."

"We are so grateful for the love and support from all of you." Andrea Johnson

Sharon's Cinderella Ball

Sharon's Cinderella Ball featured an evening of fairy tale-themed dinner and dancing, with the Johnson family being honored at the "Royal Family."

How can you start something good?

The event may be over, but donations are still gladly accepted on the Sharon's Cinderella Ball website (click here) to help Leah's recovery.

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