Fundraiser held for local leukemia patient

Published 8:51 am Thursday, February 18, 2016

A recent bake sale was held in support of 17-year-old Randolph-Henry student Talejah Watts, who has been diagnosed with Leukemia.

Local residents Julie Duffey and Phinon Hayes-Hurt raised a total of over $200 during a recent bake sale, which was donated to Watts. Duffey said she and Hurt put their heads together and raised the money with the help of the local community.

“My mother always told me you should always help someone that is going through something because you never know when you may be in their shoes,” said Hurt. “My heart breaks for Talejah and her family. No child should have to go through this and no mother should have to watch her child go through it. My prayers go out to them every day.”

According to Watts’ mother, Tawanna Saunders, the 11th-grader was recently diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). “She’s just trying to make it every day,” Saunders said.

She said the diagnosis was discovered when Watts was transported to Sentara Halifax Regional Hospital due to oral vesiculobullous lesions, otherwise known as blood blisters in the mouth.

Watts was transported to Duke Hospital by where she was diagnosed with

Leukemia, according to Saunders.

On the way to Duke, Saunders said she was informed Watts had suffered from a stroke.

Watts was expected to remain in the hospital for a total of 30 days, however, she was released on the 15th day, said Saunders. “God has been good to her,” she said.

Currently, Saunders said she is staying at the Ronald McDonald House in Durham, North Carolina.

It is expected that Watts and Saunders will remain at the location for one year.

Saunders said Watts is currently undergoing two different chemotherapy treatments, has had a total of four blood transfusions and participating in occupational therapy.

“Thank you for your continued prayers,” Saunders said. She said as of Monday, Watts is in remission.

Any donations may be received at:

Talejah Watts

506 Alexander Ave.

Durham, North Carolina 27705