LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - She's stolen hearts in Louisville and around the nation. On Friday hundreds of students lined up in hopes they could help a baby they had never met.
Hadley Mercer is desperately in need of a bone marrow transplant and hopefully her odds of getting one increased after more than 1,100 students at the University of Alabama were tested to see if they were a match.
"People really want to do something to help," said Hadley's father Brad Mercer.
The 9-month old girl has people all over the country getting a quick swab inside their cheek. The test will determine if there's a perfect bone marrow match that Hadley needs to battle her Acute Myeloid Lukema.
After a huge turnout at Holy Trinity in Louisville, friends and relatives held other drives in Memphis, Detroit and Birmingham. The most recent bone marrow drive took place as Brad's Pike Fraternity or Pi Kappa Alpha Chapter in Tuscaloosa held a massive drive working with Be The Match.
As it began 300 people lined up the first 30 minutes and hopes on campus were high.
Pike and student organizer Alex Coogan said of the crowd, "Be The Match could only bring 3,000 swabs, so we hope to get 3,000 and see where that takes us from there."
The Pikes got an amazing number as 1,121 people were tested and they raised more than $10,000.
Brad said of the overwhelming support from across the nation, "It's mind boggling to think about how much people are doing and helping us on a daily basis."
Hadley's mother Ashlie Mercer agreed, saying not only are people being tested which could help other children too, but at home in Louisville friends are bringing them food and watching their other two daughters while they are in the hospital with Hadley.
Hadley's perfect match hasn't been found yet. In preparation for a possible transplant her family is now getting treatments for Hadley in Cincinnati.
The Mercer's said unfortunately their baby girl needs a third round of chemotherapy.
"They have to have her entire body clear of disease before they will do a transplant," Ashlie Mercer said, "It makes the outcome better."
Brad Mercer said, "We're very blessed in all the support we have to deal with all this."
What's most important right now? Anyone can help. You do not have to go to one of the bone marrow drives to have the test. Just go to bethematch.org and in just minutes you can sign up for a simple test that can be sent to you for free.
More drives will also be held soon out west with other loved ones living in Phoenix and other cities also getting involved.
Sunday, July 27 2014 11:15 PM EDT2014-07-28 03:15:51 GMT
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