CLEVELAND -- 10-year-old Lucita Villeda and 6-year-old Maisie Nowlin captured hearts in February when they held their hands up in the shape of a heart.
The two little girls were down the hall from each other at Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital. Both were fighting cancer with compromised immune systems.
The two couldn’t meet face to face, so they started passing letters of encouragement under the door. They were pen pals with a pane of glass between them.
"When she didn't wave it was the day she didn't feel good," Maisie told Chanel 3 in February, of friend Lucita.
That’s when Maisie and her mom started “Letters for Lucita”. Thousands came into her hospital room from around the world. It was mail that spoke right to Lucita's heart.
Maisie was thinking of her friend in February, even as her own life depended on a bone marrow transplant. Maisie got that transplant in April.
"She’s very brave and she just did a wonderful job," says Maisie’s proud mother, Meghan Nowlin, through tears.
On Thursday, amazing Maisie went home, complements of a bone marrow donor who took months to find.
Her doctor, Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital’s, Dr. Rabi Hanna told Maisie he loved her and that all the staff would miss her.
See, Maisie made them dance.
In between chemo and MRIs, impromptu dance parties with doctors and nurses often broke out in Maisie’s room.
"It's all about Maisie and whatever will make her smile," said Dr. Hanna.
They were well deserved dances, because doctors had to basically bring Maisie to the brink of death to kill her own blood cells.
"And give her new donor cells that will be healthy to generate and give her life again,” said Dr. Hanna.
That’s why Maisie’s parents, Ryan and Meghan Nowlin, who have 5 children in all, offer this powerful perspective check for hurried hassled families.
"We're looking forward to getting back to the chaos and getting out of here," said Ryan Nowlin.
"Moving forward he gets whatever she wants forever! This would be a good time to ask for a pony,” Ryan and Meghan say as they laugh.
"Cherish your kids. Hug them every day. Life is so beautiful with them."
Lucita's parents would most certainly second that. Sweet Lucita fought hard but passed away.
Maisie is alive because a bone marrow donor finally came through for her
It takes only a swab inside your mouth to find out if you can potentially save many lives like Amazing Maisie.
You can start here at www.bethematch.com