St. Jude patient 'finding Dory' at the aquarium - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

St. Jude patient 'finding Dory' at the aquarium

(SOURCE: Facebook) (SOURCE: Facebook)

One lucky girl seems to have already found Dory.

Carlie Herrington, 12, is the daughter of Justin and Alex Herrington of Lucedale, MS. She was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia in May and is currently a patient at St. Jude.

“This place is amazing,” Alex said. “Anything we could ever want or need is provided. Honestly I can’t say enough good things about this place.”

A post of Carlie has been circulating on Facebook, and it explains how she spends time at the aquarium in between her treatments. She has become fond of a Blue Tang fish that she named “Dory.” It includes uplifting hashtags like #praying4carlie, #cheer4carlie, and #carliestrong. 

Bethany Lightsey, photographer and family friend, said that they didn’t have any goals for the photo when it was originally posted. They were in good spirit about the photo since Finding Dory is coming out this Friday. They tagged comedian Ellen DeGeneres with hopes that she would give a shoutout to Carlie and other patients and help lift their spirits.

This is no surprise since DeGeneres has donated to St. Jude in the past, and she’s also the voice of Dory in the movie Finding Nemo and its sequel Finding Dory.

“Our prayer is that this will distract Carlie from the monotony of treatments, blood work, hospital trips, etc.,” Lightsey said. “She is an amazing little girl, and her strength is nothing short of God given. Since this photo was taken, her hair has fallen out, but she still holds her head high and gives God all the Glory what he has done and will do in her life.”

With the long journey ahead, they are hoping that Carlie’s picture reaches as many people as possible and that she always receives as many prayers, according to Lightsey.

“I believe there is power in prayer and that Carlie will be healed,” Lightsey said. “I also pray that this encourages others fighting the same battle.”

Alex Herrington, Carlie’s mother, also said that she never imagined that her daughter’s picture would go viral. When it was posted last night, only a few family and friends liked it, but she woke up this morning to more than 200 notifications!

“Tears filled my eyes because I was I shocked at the amount of people sharing and sending prayers to her,” Alex said. “Again, we give all the glory to God!”

Alex described Carlie’s difficult health journey. Carlie had been falling ill since January with pneumonia, strep throat, and sinus issues. The family couldn’t figure out what was wrong until they found a physician who gave her a thorough exam with blood work. That same doctor made some calls to St. Jude, and the family was flown to Memphis so that Carlie could be admitted to the hospital.

“From the moment we got here, people have bent over backwards to help in any way,” Alex said.

Carlie has finished her first round of chemo. She is currently on rest to allow her blood count to recover and to prepare her for round two of chemotherapy.

Alex said that the family is prepared for a long stay at St. Jude, but they will bravely do it with a smile.

“Her spirits are high and her faith is strong,” Alex said. “She gives all her glory to God. With him, all things are possible. We know that this time next year she will have a beautiful testimony to tell.”

Alex said they don’t want or need for anything right now, so the only thing she asks is that people keep Carlie and other children like her in their prayers as they face the battle of a lifetime.

“There is power in prayer,” Alex said. “She is living proof of that!”

Carlie plans on seeing Finding Dory on Friday if her schedule allows. You can play a part by using the hashtag #pray4carlie and keeping the family in your prayers.

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