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Norwalk Girl's Bracelets Help a Friend

Alyssa Buffone, 7, has been making bracelets "nonstop" for the past four weeks. But not for herself. She’s been doing it for Sebastian Hernandez, 7, her friend since they met on the first day of kindergarten.

The bracelets were for sale Sunday during the bone marrow drive on behalf of Sebastian, who has leukemia. Doctors want to stop Sebastian's chemotherapy as soon as possible and give him a bone marrow transplant. Only about four of every 10 people on the list of people who need a transplant get a match, so volunteers were signing up as many people as possible to get their DNA tested.

The tests cost $65 each, so the bone marrow drive at St. Thomas the Apostle Church included some fundraising. Nancy Owens, director of the preschool Sebastian attended, made sugar cookies and decorated them with green sprinkles -- green is the color for leukemia. Grayzon Brandfellner, 10, Tanner Randazzo, 12, and other boys sold them with baked goods to raise money. Grayzon turned out to be a star salesman, offering a two for one deal of arroz con leches (rice pudding) with a baked good.

Alyssa's bracelets were $2 each. As of 3 p.m., the scheduled end of the drive, she had raised $1,400.

Suzy Buffone, Alyssa's mother, said that when word got out about her friend Sebastian, Alyssa "wanted to do something on her own."

Sebastian made her a bracelet last year. So she thought she'd make some for him. "She set a goal of $1,000," said Buffone. "I never thought in a thousand years that she'd make it."

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