Baby with Down syndrome diagnosed with cancer and surprised with help from strangers

ELMIRA, N.Y. (18 NEWS) - On Friday morning, Margaret Black walked into Lyssa Gregg's Elmira home and handed the single mother an envelope. 

"I hope this will bless you for however long it can bless you," Black said. 

A generous cash donation sat inside and the two strangers immediately embraced each other sharing tears of happiness.

"It's so hard," Gregg cried.

"I know," Black replied. "I've been there."

Gregg is the mother of Lilly, a two-year-old girl full of life and recently diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. Lilly also has Down syndrome, and that's where Black comes into play. 

Last month, 18 News did a story on Black before she traveled to Washington D.C. for the March for Life rally in honor of her son Sebastian who also has Down syndrome. The pro-life mother sold t-shirts with his face on them and fellow protestors gave more money on top of the sale price. 

After hearing of about Lilly's story through a Facebook group involving the local Down syndrome community, she felt called to donate the raised funds to Gregg. 

"I just knew that that was the best way to show that we believe in saving babies with Down syndrome, that they are worthy of life, (and) that they deserve life in the womb and out of the womb," Black said. 

Gregg will use the money on Lilly, bills, and a new car they got to get to and from treatments at Golisano Rochester Hospital. 

The single mom is over-the-moon grateful for Black's efforts and everyone else's support because the journey has been rough. 

"Even though I have people, it is still so hard" Gregg said. "I have to be there for her and be alone just to protect her."

Just a few days into the new year is when Gregg found out the cancer diagnoses. She left her Elmira home for a month to sleep by her baby's side every night in the Rochester hospital. 

So far, Lilly has received a single round of chemotherapy and the family is waiting for that dreaded phone call to see if they're going to be put on higher or lower risk.

They're heading back to the hospital on Monday and won't know how long they'll be there for again, but in the meantime they have their faith and that extra cushion received by Black morning to push through. 

A benefit will be held at Veterans of Foreign Wars in Elmira to help the family financially with medical and traveling expenses. 

If you'd like to attend, it's taking place on Sunday, March 11 from 2:00 to 6:30 P.M. The address is 113 Keefe Street. 

The entry fee is $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 years old and younger. Face painting, a mickey mouse meet-and-great, and prizes will be available. 

Gregg and Lilly will most likely be in the hospital on that day, but they appreciate anyone who can attend. 


More Stories

Don't Miss

  • 18 Mobile Apps
    Copyright 2018 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Ski Report
  • Jump Start to Living Well
    Copyright 2018 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • How Cool Is Your School?
    Copyright 2018 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • WETM Special Reports

Trending Stories

Latest News

Video Center