Police recruit Ty Veltre made news earlier this week for traveling 1,300 miles to donate bone marrow to a 9-year-old Italian boy with leukemia.
Veltre discovered he was a match for the boy through Hallie’s Heroes, a foundation started by 8-year-old Fort Worth girl Hallie Barnard, who’s looking for a match of her own. She suffers from a rare blood disorder called Diamond Blackfan Anemia.
And while Veltre happened to be a match for one sick child, it’s rare that matches are found, said Jennifer Scott, a spokeswoman for Hallie’s Heroes. That’s why the foundation pushes for more cheek swabs to build up a national registry and hopefully give sick children a better chance at finding a match.
Part of that push, Scott said, has been working with the police department, which takes cheek swabs from all incoming officers, including Veltre. And the officers also have a little fun for the good cause, too.
This week, Hallie’s Heroes released a music video Barnard made with officers and firefighters. The video, a spoof of Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off,” had one main message: Get swabbed.
If you’re interested in helping Hallie’s Heroes, you can go to their website: TeamHallieBea.org.
Ryan Osborne: 817-390-7684, @RyanOsborneFWST
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