Med student gives special Valentine to 7-year-old girl battling cancer

WPVI logo
Friday, February 19, 2016
EMBED <>More Videos

A love story between a med student and a young cancer patient is melting hearts in Virginia.

RICHMOND, Va. (WPVI) -- A love story between a med student and a young cancer patient is melting hearts in Virginia.

Med student Metul Shah was working a rotation at the Children's Hospital of Richmond at VCU when he found out 7-year-old Katie Whatley didn't have a Valentine and would be spending the holiday in the hospital.

"And it was just unfair because none of her classmates, none of her friends have to do that. They're not in the same situation," said Shah.

Thirteen months ago, Katie was diagnosed with Leukemia. She went into remission, but this past December she relapsed with tumors on both of her optic nerves and had to undergo a bone marrow transplant in early February.

So Metul and several of his fraternity brothers from VCU surprised Katie with a song, treats and big smiles for the little girl fighting a big, brave battle.

"We did our best Katy Perry impression," said Metul with a smile.

"It was so wonderful just to hear her be happy and sort of carefree, as carefree you can be with an IV pole that has eight or nine tubes coming down," said Katie's mother, Amanda Whatley.

While her white blood cell count is improving following the transfusion, there were no adult matches for Katie on the bone marrow registry.

Fortunately, her baby sister was.

"Families we know are still searching for their match and they just have to wait and get sicker," said Amanda.

Katie's new Valentine says getting on the bone marrow registry is as easy as getting your cheek swabbed and it can save lives.

"It's really hard to get a match, so the more people that are in it obviously the more chances at success you'll have," said Metul.

Fore more information on Be the Match and the National Marrow Donor Program, CLICK HERE.