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You Can Help: Hiram Rallies Around 6-Year-Old with Leukemia

Yogli Mogli, Stevi B's Pizza, and Chick-fil-A are all hosting fundraising events this month to help six-year-old Bella Rice who was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.

Isabella "Bella" Rice
Isabella "Bella" Rice
"I like to go to the park with my little brother, Nolyn, paint, draw, and color, and play with my papa's dog, Max," said Bella.

But before Bella gets back to the serious business of being a 6-year-old, with the help of the Hiram community she is working to lick the pre-B Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia she was diagnosed with this past October.

She attended Heart's Academy of Excellence in Powder Springs but hasn't been able to attend since her diagnosis. Her immune system counts have been low, so she's more susceptible to infections and with everything going around right now (especially the flu) Bella's mom found it best to homeschool for now.

"Her teachers have been awesome about sending work home for her to do and working with us," said mom, Caran Rice.

"Bella wants to be an illustrator and/or cartoonist when she grows up," Caran said. "She  loves to draw and is very talented! She'd like to work for Disney or Nickelodeon one day." 

Caran Rice, 24, has two children,  Isabella "Bella" Rice and Nolyn Rice who is 3.

"As a single mom with two kids, we've always lived paycheck to paycheck, but with Bella's diagnosis, things quickly became tighter," said Caran. "My hours at work were cut from 40 plus hours per week to only 15 to 20 hours per week, Bella was visiting the hospital or clinic at least once per week, and her prescriptions were quickly adding up. We started a Facebook page so family and friends could keep posted about her status and before we knew it, we had over 500 followers."

Several restaurants soon contacted Caran about hosting fundraisers. 
  • Yogli Mogli in Hiram is hosting an event from 3 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 8. 
  • Stevi B's Pizza in Hiram is hosting an event all day on Saturday, Jan. 18.
  • Chick-fil-A in Hiram is hosting an event from 5 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 30. 
A percentage of the total sold during these hours will go into Bella's account to help pay for medications and other expenses relating to her chemotherapy and treatment.

Bella wants to start an organization called Bella's Crafty Kids that will donate gift baskets of art supplies to children admitted to local cancer centers (and will hopefully grow nation-wide one day). She wants a place where kids with chemo can talk with one another. 

"If you google cancer discussion boards, there are plenty for adults, but not for kids," Caran said. "We want to connect 'chemo kids' as Bella calls them (and herself) and give them virtual pen pals so they know they're not alone and can ask questions that other kids can answer."

Bella has started a website www.bellaschemokids.org, that's still a work in progress. 

"We are so blessed and in awe at the advice, gifts, cards, prayers, and outpouring of love we have received from or friends, family, community, and even complete strangers across the world," Caran said. "Bella has received gift boxes from Australia, New York, Hawaii, Tennessee, Chicago, and more, as well as especially here locally in Georgia."

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