6-year-old brain cancer survivor inspires local blood drive

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It's hard to find words that describe 6-year-old Pyper Young.  The first grader from Alexis, Illinois has endured more than most adults. On April 1, 2014, Pyper was diagnosed with medulloblastoma, a form of brain cancer.

"The doctor came in after her MRI and said they had found a mass," said Pyper's mom, Darcy Young.

That was the beginning of a long year for the Young family. Pyper stayed in Memphis, Tennessee for several months undergoing radiation and chemotherapy. In total, Pyper received 30 rounds of radiation and seven rounds of chemotherapy.

"It was horrible," Darcy said. "It was just pure torture on her body."

After several months of treatment, doctors said Pyper was disease-free. Currently, she's rehabilitating at home, in hopes of returning to school in the upcoming days.

Darcy thanks her support system, prayers and blood donations.

"People going through chemo need those [blood donations]," Darcy said.

In honor of Pyper, the Young family teamed up with the American Red Cross to host a blood drive at the Alexis Community Center on Friday, April 3, 2015 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Her family hopes Pyper serves as a tangible example of the importance of donating blood.

If you would like to continue to follow Pyper's journey, click here.