Shawnee girl, 11, dies after raising awareness for donor need

BY ANN KELLEY - Staff Writer Modified: March 16, 2009 at 3:47 pm •  Published: March 16, 2009
SHAWNEE — The little girl who lobbied Oklahomans to donate bone marrow to help others died this weekend from complications related to a recent stem cell transplant.

Tallie Anderson, 11, had a rare blood disorder and waited two years for a donor that matched her body.

In January, she underwent chemotherapy in preparation for the stem cell transplant. Later that month, she had a successful stem cell transplant and remained at OU Medical Center.

She died Saturday of pulmonary fibrosis, created by the chemotherapy, while surrounded by family and friends, her father, Roger Anderson said.

“We hugged her, held her and told her how proud she made us,” Anderson said. “She was ready to go — but as parents you’re never prepared for that.”

Tallie told The Oklahoman in December she knew the transplant could result in her death. She said if she didn’t have it, she was sure to die and was prepared to take her chances with the hope she would be cured.

“Some people ask if I’m scared,” Tallie told The Oklahoman. “Well, yes I’m nervous, but no I’m not scared. I’m going to leave it in God’s hands.

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