FOREST HILLS — The neighborhood has come together to raise more than $40,000 for a 6-year-old girl who was recently diagnosed with leukemia.
Friends of Chloe Mitchell, who was diagnosed on March 2, set up a GoFund Me page collecting money to help her pay hospital bills and various expenses related to the young girl's illness.
They set the goal of the campaign at $42,500 and in 24 days had raised more than $40,700, as of Wednesday afternoon.
"I am completely blown away by the kindness and generosity we have received, some from complete strangers," Erin Mitchell, Chloe's mother, told DNAinfo New York. "There are not enough thank you's to truly demonstrate our appreciation."
Chloe, a bubbly first-grader, who played soccer and basketball after school, developed a high fever shortly after she returned from the mid-winter recess in February. Initially, doctors thought she had the flu but several days later, as she kept feeling worse, her mother took her to the emergency room.
On March 2, she was diagnosed with leukemia.
“It came out of nowhere," said Mitchell, who is a single mother who commutes from Whitestone to her job at a commercial real estate firm in Forest Hills. "It’s not genetic, it’s not environmental, it’s one of these things that just happened."
Chloe spent several days at the Hassenfeld Children's Center for Cancer at NYU Langone, where she underwent bone marrow biopsy and had a port to administer chemotherapy placed in her chest. Now she's able to be treated on an outpatient basis.
Chloe's family friends who set up the GoFundMe page for her wrote "To say this diagnosis is devastating to all who love Chloe is an understatement. While her doctors are hopeful that they will eventually be able to cure her, it is going to be a long road.”
In addition to the fundraising effort, Soccer Kids NYC, a program she has attended since she was 3, is also organizing a free magic show for her and other kids at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday at P.S. 144, at 93-02 69th Ave. in Forest Hills.
Although she hasn't been able to go to school and has had to give up most activities, the 6-year-old has been cleared by her doctors to briefly come to the show.
“We are going to have a table there for any family who will want to make a donation in person,” said Noe Canales, founder of Soccer Kids NYC. “But the goal is also to spread awareness about leukemia in young children.”
Doctors believe Chloe's treatment will take about three years, according to her mother.
“Luckily, it’s curable and it’s treatable but it’s just going to take a little while," said Mitchell.