Christmas miracle: Orlando girl fighting rare form of cancer finds donor

ORLANDO, Fla. — Chloe Bella Carvahlo has been busy this season.

She turned 5 years old this month, and she has been dividing her time between visiting Santa Claus, and packing in all the holidays this season.

“We did Thanksgiving with Christmas decorations, so it was like a combo,” her mother Nayara Harmes said.

Read: Girl’s cancer fight in Orlando inspires family to raise bone marrow registry awareness

Christmas will be spent at Advent Health for Children, but it’s not all bad news.

Chloe has been fighting juvenile myelo-monocytic leukemia, or JMML. It’s one of the rarest forms of pediatric cancers.

When Channel 9 first met with her family in October, they were desperate to find a donor. Family members and friends lined up, hoping to be the bone marrow match Chloe needed. Nobody was.

Now, just in time for a Christmas miracle, they found one.

“I could be crying and saying this could be the last one, but (now) I have more to look forward to, so we have to look at the positive side,” Harmes said. “We are blessed to have the chance to fight.”

The donor who is giving Chloe Bella a chance to live is a man in his 30s somewhere in Europe, but that’s all they know right now, and probably all they’ll know for a while.

Confidentiality rules for the donor’s country states the family will be able to know who helped give their daughter a fighting chance in two years, if he wants it to be known.

“We pray for him, we just want to be thankful and say thank you for the chance he’s giving us,” Harmes said.

Chloe has gone through two cycles of chemotherapy, according to the family’s GoFundMe page. The bone marrow transplant is expected to take place sometime this month. Visitors are limited in Chloe’s room to ensure she stays healthy as her transplant draws near.

Donate to Chloe’s battle by clicking here.

The family said they are now focusing on the fight ahead, and the prayers that continue to pour in from everyone, including Santa himself.

“God, watch over this angel and help her get better, and love all the days of her life. And be strong. Amen. Merry Christmas,” Santa said during a visit with Chloe.

When Santa gave Chloe Bella the choice between a car and a doll for Christmas, Chloe said she’d rather have a car.

Chloe’s family said they want to continue raising awareness about the bone marrow registry, especially the need for more people of different ethnicities to register.




Nancy Alvarez, WFTV.com

I joined the Eyewitness News team in May 2010 and am currently co-anchor of Eyewitness News This Morning alongside Jamie Holmes.