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Local Mom Raises Awareness for Kawasaki Disease

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Leticia DeGracia's daughter was diagnosed with Kawasaki disease over a year ago.

Her toddler is now a survivor and DeGracia is committed to raising awareness and fundraising for research.

Less than a year ago, Leticia's two-year-old daughter Jackie was in the hospital with a fever that wouldn't go away.

"In those couple days I felt helpless and I felt very lost. I was searching for answers why my daughter was sick," DeGracia said.

DeGracia works in the medical field and had a feeling something was seriously wrong when her daughters symptoms worsened.

"She had the red lips and swollen lips," DeGracia said.

DeGracia asked doctors to look into Kawasaki disease, a rare illness that attacks the blood vessels and causes serious heart problems in children. Jackie was soon diagnosed.

"Their body's on fire. The IVIG helped her stop having the fever and it got her better to where she could start eating," said DeGracia.

The toddler overcame her illness thanks to a treatment called 'IVIG' which comes from donated blood plasma.

"What I wanna say is thank you to the people that donate blood because they truly did help save my daughter's life," said DeGracia.

Monday is Kawasaki Awareness Day in Sacramento.

DeGracia and others affected by the disease will be at the Capitol from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. to raise awareness.