‘Her fight is my fight’: Butts County community rallies around 18-month-old leukemia patient

Several fundraising events have been organized to support Tessa Kersey's fight against leukemia. (GoFundMe)

Credit: GoFundMe

Credit: GoFundMe

Several fundraising events have been organized to support Tessa Kersey's fight against leukemia. (GoFundMe)

The Butts County community is doing what it does best — rallying around a family in need. This time, it’s Casey and Lauren (Waits) Kersey and their 18-month-old daughter Tessa.

After being sick for a couple of weeks with what doctors thought was a viral infection in May, the Kerseys took little Tessa to Macon Children’s Hospital. Blood work revealed her white blood cell count was extremely low. A bone marrow extraction led to a diagnosis of leukemia.

Tessa has completed her first cycle of chemo treatments. The plan is for two more cycles followed by a bone marrow transplant, according to Tessa’s mother, Lauren.

“God has seen us through and His love is truly undeniable. I can 100% say I would not be in the mental mindset I am in without Him and every single one of you,” she said of the community’s support. “We still have a long road ahead, but I know God is healing Tessa more and more every day.”

Tessa has completed her first cycle of chemo treatments. The plan is for two more cycles followed by a bone marrow transplant, according to Tessa’s mother, Lauren. (Photo provided by family)

Credit: Family Handout

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Credit: Family Handout

Doctors expect Tessa to be in the hospital for at least six months and one of her parents will need to be with her. The other will be home taking care of her brothers, Wayon, 4, and her twin brother, Taylor. This will result in the parents taking an extensive amount of leave from their jobs.

First and foremost, the family is asking for prayers for Tessa.

“The power in prayer is huge, and we know that God can and will heal Tess,” said Lauren’s close friend Amanda Mac who organized a community prayer event on May 22. “We ask the community to pray for God’s healing on her little body and strength while the family endures Tessa’s battle.”

A GoFundMe page has been set up and donations to the family can also be given through Cashapp. The family can also be supported through several fundraisers organized by members of the Butts County community.

“Her fight is my fight — Tough Like Tessa” shirts can be purchased for $30. The shirts will be sold through June 15. As of May 31, more than $4,000 had been raised through t-shirt sales.

Tessa’s God-aunt, Calla Hawkins, is making and selling gold and orange bows that can be used to show support on mailboxes or doors. Orange is the color designated for leukemia. Bows cost $10 and can be purchased through Cashap at $Callabelle or Venmo at @Calla-Hawkins.

Jackson’s Sunrise Nutrition has created a fundraising tea to support the toddler. A portion of the sale of every Tessa June tea will be donated to Tessa and her family. As of June 1, 85 Tessa June teas had been sold.

Handcrafted wooden flags can be purchased from Remembering Officer’s Children (ROCK) to benefit the Kersey family. The 8″x16″ flags are $20 each and can be painted traditionally or in policeman or firefighter colors. To order a flag, Cashapp Amanda Mac at $uhmanduhmac.

A 5K Run fundraiser has also been set up for Sept. 7. For more details and to keep up with Tessa’s journey, join Tessa’s Support Squad Facebook page.


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Credit: Jackson Progress-Argus

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Credit: Jackson Progress-Argus

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