After Conquering Blood Disorder, Ten-Year-Old Singing Strong


Reagan Claire Smith came to Packard Children’s when she was 6 and in the first grade. “Suddenly, she had big, dark purple bruises and pinprick marks all over,” said her very worried mother, Sandra. At the Bass Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Diseases, hematologist Bert Glader, MD, PhD, diagnosed immune thrombocytopenic purpura, or ITP, characterized by a big decrease in the platelets essential for blood clotting. The bruising and marks had been caused by bleeding under Reagan’s skin.

“She was so fragile that if she was hit in the head, it could result in bleeding to the brain,” said Sandra.

ITP is usually short-lived, but not this time. Medicines, hospitalizations and chemotherapy didn’t fix the problem. Even a paper cut could send her to the emergency room. “This became a more problematic case, so we decided to do something definitive to help her regain her quality of life,” said Glader.

That meant removing Reagan’s spleen, the site of platelet destruction. In 2010, minimally invasive surgery expert Sanjeev Dutta, MD, took it out through her belly button in a no-scar procedure. “She’s now in remission and has gotten her life back,” said Glader. Reagan’s platelet counts are normal and her activities are not restricted.

With her bruises gone, Reagan’s now deep into volleyball, track, horses and a brand-new bike. “But what I like most is singing,” said Reagan. She’s donating proceeds of her YouTube and iTunes hit “I Wanna Know” to Packard Children’s Bass Center for Pediatric Cancer and Blood Diseases.

“Our team has a lot of experience with cases like this,” said Glader, who confirmed that he’s planning to add Reagan’s song to his iTunes playlist. “Helping to normalize a child’s life is a guiding principle in everything we do, and we’re happy to make this happen for such a talented young lady.”


Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)