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Every year, the Medical Center of Central Georgia brightens the day of a child during the Children's Tree lighting ceremony.

One child is chosen to flip the giant switch and light up the tree, and this year, it was 12-year-old Hayleigh Marks.

At two months old, Hayleigh was diagnosed with a type of anemia known an DBA, which means her body does not make its own red blood cells.

She has had more than 250 blood transfusions and tried a variety of medications.

"When you see people who overcome things, that's one thing," says her mother Brandi Voltz. "But when it's your own child, and you know what they've been through and what they struggle through now, and they don't let it affect them, it just takes it to a whole different level. I couldn't be prouder of her. She's just an amazing kid."

Her parents say she is one of around 600 people in the world diagnosed with DBA, but that doesn't keep her from enjoying life like any other kid.

"I like doodling, and going outside, and listening to music, those are my favorite," says Hayleigh.

When Hayleigh flipped the switch, both she and the tree lit up the room with a flicker of hope.

"It's a way for Hayleigh to represent all the kids here at the Medical Center," says Voltz. "To actually get together as a group and come together and do something so special as lighting the Christmas tree at the Medical Center, it's really nice."

During the ceremony, the Kohl's Cares organization donated $37,972 to the hospital for research and children's programs for kids in central Georgia.

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