Her smile masks the pain hidden inside. At 13 years old, Siani McCurry beat leukemia but now suffers from another life threatening disease.
"We were thinking she was going to have a new life. The cancer was going to be gone and she was going to be fine," said Siani's mom, Tracey.
Siani's family stays by her side every day at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. It's been their home for more than a year. After Siani's diagnosis in March of 2012, the Burlington, New Jersey teenager went through remission followed by a bone marrow transplant that fall. A month later, Siani's family says she developed the severest form of graft versus host disease . It is a complication that can occur after surgery.
"She's frightened to death. She thinks her life is very much over," said her father, David McCurry.
A life once filled with soccer, going to school and seeing friends. Now, Siani can barely speak. Her parents tell us she's in desperate need for a lung transplant but explain doctors don't think she is strong enough for one and was taken off the list.
"That's the only thing that can save her," explained David. "Without that our chances of her surviving is little."
It's not only an emotional struggle for the family of 5, but a financial burden as well. Siani's parents haven't been able to work.
"You can't. It's just impossible. If I get a job I can do it. But you got to come right back here. She needs our support to be around her every day," said David.
For now, Siani holds on tight to her dog, Buddy. Her parents say she's not giving up. Her new year's resolution is to finally go home.
"She still wants to fight. she has the hope as long as we do," said Tracey.
A fundraiser will be held Jan. 11 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the John F. Kennedy Recreation Center, 429 John F. Kennedy Way, Willingboro. Admission is $10 at the door.
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