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Laila: The Next Season | Behind the scenes of the Laila Anderson documentary premiere

"I'm really excited to show everyone here like what happens behind the scenes, who helped me be here today"

ST. LOUIS — The blue carpet rolled out Friday night for one of our hometown heroes.

Laila Anderson had her name in lights at the Fox Theatre as they showcased a documentary about her journey.

This die-hard blues fan captivated our hearts with her remarkable journey battling a rare life-threatening disorder, hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis, or HLH. Immune cells grow out of control and attack the body, causing organ damage. 

Laila's journey began two years ago when she started experiencing headaches and vomiting. She went to St. Louis Children's Hospital. Numerous tests and MRIs over the span of a few weeks showed her brain condition was deteriorating.

In September 2018, almost one year after her first symptoms appeared, doctors found out she had HLH. Her immune system was attacking her brain. 

Laila is just one of 15 children in the world who have had a solely neurologic manifestation of the disease. The only known treatment for HLH is a bone marrow transplant. 

In October 2018, Laila started 10 weeks of chemotherapy to suppress her overactive immune system and prepare for that transplant. She had her transplant in January 2018. 

TOWN AND COUNTRY, Mo. - This time last year, Laila Anderson was battling a rare and potentially deadly auto-immune disease. Thursday night, for the very first time, she had the chance to give the donor who saved her life the biggest hug an 11-year-old could muster.

Her tough journey is now taking over the big screen. 

Children's Hospital created a documentary called 'Laila: The Next Season,' which dives deeper into her story. 

"I'm really excited to show everyone here like what happens behind the scenes, who helped me be here today," Laila said.

The 28-minute film highlights her road to recovery and being the inspiration to the Blues with their own recovery of winning the Stanley Cup.

The movie includes her doctors and Colton Parayko. 

"We as a team tried to help her out try to cheer her up. For her, she showed up to our games, cheered us up," Parayko said.

It's a movie highlighting the impact of a little girl's passion to never give up. Inspiring a city in need of a reminder that anything is possible if you just believe.

"I feel like we've taught each other some life lessons, whether it be a battle for your life or a battle to win the Stanley cup. We've all been on the road together and fighting our battles together," Laila said.

The feature will air Saturday, Dec. 14 at 6 p.m. CT before the start of the Blues vs. Blackhawks game. 

The film will be made available on the St. Louis Children's Hospital's Youtube Channel about a week after it airs.


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