Sick 9-year-old gets donated, specially fit wig

Jania Hernandez diagnosed with precancer cells, high white blood cell count

By Jennifer Ortega - Reporter

ORLANDO, Fla. - Jania Hernandez, 9, said she's staying positive after she was diagnosed with precancer cells and a high white blood cell count last April.

"I think about it and sometimes I'll just start crying, and now that I know I'm going to get a new wig and stuff I'm like, 'Stay positive, J,'" Jania said.

"She has courage, she is so brave, she has an incredible amount of faith," said her grandmother, Mayeln Polanco.

Jania said at first it was hard to understand what she has and why all her hair was falling out.

"I was asking like a lot of questions: 'Why am I losing it? Is it going to get better? Why?'" Jania said. 

Jania said it happened so quickly and she was taken out of school.

She said she misses her long, curly locks.

"Like in one of my pictures, it's like poofed and now it's like nothing at all," said Jania.

It wasn't until her grandmother found Debbie Turner with the Debbie Turner Caner Care and Resource Center that things started looking up.

"I was devastated," Turner said. "She's this 9-year-old little girl who wants to go to school, but she's bald, and the way kids are nowadays, with bullying, it would be very difficult for her." 

Something Jania said she experienced when she started getting sick was having to confront her bullies.

"When I got bullied and went to school again, I saw him and was like, (he) just walked away," said Jania, speaking about her bully.

"I cried like crazy, you know? It was very painful to see her going through something like that because that's the last thing you want," her grandmother said. 

Turner, being a brain cancer survivor herself and losing her hair five times, said she started the cancer care center completely run by volunteers -- to help donate to those who need supplies the most, like a new wig for young Jania.

"There were times when, I'll be honest, I wanted to give up. I don't know how the kids do it. They fight hard though," Turner said.

After the two met, it wasn't long before Turner connected Jania with Wigs for Kids and was fitting her for her new locks.

"I'm hoping it's gonna be curly and long, like the way it was," said Jania.

The wig will be handmade and specially fit for her to last longer.

Jania said she's thankful to have Debbie in her life and can't wait to go back to school.

"She means everything to me," Jania said. "If she wasn't here and I didn't meet her at all, I would be the same as I was: sad, and I would just stay home," Jania said.

But, she said, now she's a whole new person.

"I'm like, 'I'm here, I'm going to get a new wig. Positive, stay like that,'" Jania said.

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