Fort Mill, SC (WBTV) – If magic can be found in a moment, 7-year-old Wren Jansen of Fort Mill found the art of discovering it at the age of three just after she was diagnosed with Leukemia.
“This amazing nurse at Levine Children’s [Hospital] walks in with this bag of blood and my three looks at it and of course she was shocked,” said Brandi Jansen, Wren’s mom. “And the nurse, without missing a beat, says, ‘Don’t worry about this it’s “unicorn juice” and it’s going to make you feel so much better because it’s magic.”
They were two simple words that helped lift the weight of Wren’s cancer battle.
“She had 17 blood and platelet transfusions that first year of treatment so anytime we tied something scary back to unicorns, she trusted it because of that nurse,” said Brandi. “So, our blood is unicorn juice and our numbing cream is uniform cream– because it’s magic.”
Brandi says said she quickly realized the extreme need for that magic. “If the donors had not donated blood there could’ve not been blood for my daughter,” she added.
So just three weeks after Wren’s first transfusion, the Jansen’s held their first blood drive.
“We had over 100 people lined up to get blood that day, and 67 of those donors were first-time donors,” said Brandi. “They would return and give blood every year in her honor.”
This year will mark the 5th “Wren’s Village” Blood Drive. Wren’s Village is the non-profit that was set-up by the Jansen family to help raise money and other resources for other families facing pediatric cancer. Wren is now 7 and while our world looks different in 2020, there are several things that haven’t changed.
“The need for blood was not canceled by COVID,” said Brandi. “The need pediatric cancer kids have was not canceled by COVID.”
Wren rang her cancer bell signifying the end of her treatments in December of 2018, now the Jansen’s are forever purposed to keep calling all unicorns to give others a similar hope.
“Kids would not survive the treatments that they get without blood and platelet donations,” said Brandi. “Our precious girl had to have 2 and a half years of chemo and 10 rounds of radiation, but her story is not unique. The fact that she’s going to second grade and we know families personally who there will always be an empty chair in a classroom…We’re going to keep fighting until there’s no more cancer until no more kids and parents have to hear the words that we heard.”
September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and this year’s Blood Drive is this Friday, September 4th from 2:30-7:30 pm and Saturday, September 5th from 9-3 pm at the Baxter Close YMCA in Fort Mill. To register for the drive the code word is UNICORN at redcrossblood.org. If you cannot give blood but want to support Wren’s Village, there will also be Food Trucks on-site that will donate a portion of their proceeds to the nonprofit. You can learn more now at the website www.wrensvillage.com.