Minnesota teen battling rare form of leukemia launches fundraiser for cancer research

Bella Sciara, now 16, of Blaine, Minnesota was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia at the age of 14. (Sciara Family)

A teenager in Blaine, who is battling a rare form of leukemia, is on a mission.

"I really didn’t have any symptoms, so that’s why we were all really shocked when I was diagnosed," said Bella Sciara.

Bella was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia at the age of 14. Two years later, she’s still fighting.

"It’s just really hard, especially because a lot of it I can’t control," said Bella.

She has spent months in the hospital and endured countless rounds of chemotherapy. More than a year ago, Bella received a bone marrow transplant from her younger brother, but the cancer returned.

"What keeps me going every day is that I know I can use my experiences and my story to help advocate for cancer research," said Bella.

With the help of her twin sister, Ava, the Blaine teen is sharing her story. They posted a video online and hope to help raise $150,000 in seven weeks for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

"As many people as we can reach and spread awareness to, that’s our goal," said Ava.

"[Bella’s] an amazing young woman, her courage is incredible," said Dr. Peter Gordon, a pediatric hematologist and oncologist at M Health Fairview University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital.

Dr. Gordon says blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm is a disease typically found in older individuals. He says advancement in research could lead to better treatments or even a cure.

"The only way that we’re going to make progress is through research," he said.

Through perseverance, Bella finds strength.

"We really just want to emphasize the importance of research and finding a cure and we want to fund the research that’s really going to make a difference," said Bella.

For more information about Bella’s fundraising campaign, called "Twin It for a Cure," click here.