Family of sick LaFayette teenager asking for community assistance

19-year-old Georgian battling rare blood disorder, will receive bone marrow transplant

LAFAYETTE, Georgia (WDEF) — Trinity Bell was always “full of energy” according to her family, dominating in sports like softball and soccer with Chattooga County High School before graduating.

However, her contagious energy is now being spent fighting for her life.
In 2019, Aaron Bell said his daughter went from being “active” to exhausted, bedridden and pale.

After what he thought would be a routine checkup to the doctor’s office, everything changed.

“It was about five minutes after we left, they called and told us that she needed to go to the emergency room right then,” Bell said. “Her hemoglobin level was a little less than half of what a normal person should have in their body.”

Trinity was diagnosed with congenital dyserythropoietic anemia (CDA) — a rare blood disorder often resulting in a low red blood cell count and “an iron overload” in one’s body.

However, thanks to family in Atlanta, the Bells were directed to the Children’s Organ Transplant Association (COTA) — a national charity committed to assisting transplant recipients and their families.

“COTA is there to help the families with the expenses above and beyond what insurance covers, which can be astronomical when you get in to the everyday cost for the families involved,” said Mike Howard, COTA public relations coordinator.

The family says doctors at Atlanta’s Children’s Egleston Hospital have recommended a bone marrow transplant to save her life.

She will be admitted for the transplant at the end of May, but in the meantime, the family is asking the local community for help.

“We have some tentative events scheduled now that we will be participating in so we can always use campaign volunteers in addition to donations if anybody wants to get directly involved,” Howard said. “We can definitely make that happen.”

Howard says a benefit softball tournament is being planned and could use more volunteers.

The family has also set up donation sites online to help cover transplant expenses.

Bell hopes that with the community’s help, he’ll see his daughter healthy once again.

“She’s always had so much energy,” Bell said. “Just seeing that again would be a blessing.”

Howard said that the benefit softball tournament is planned on being held at the LaFayette Rec Center on May 21.

That same day, they’ll be appearing at the Down Home Days Festival in Chickamauga.

To donate to Trinity’s transplant, the family says you can visit www.COTAforTeamTrinity.com.

Trinity’s story can also be found on Facebook.

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