JASPER, TX (KTRE) - The city of Jasper showed their compassion today for one child.
The community celebrated Parson Blue Day to honor a 10-month-old girl who is in need of a lung transplant due to a rare genetic disease.
"You can't choose the circumstances, but you can choose your attitude, so that's why we keep smiling," Odney Herrington, Parson Blue's dad, said.
If Rodney Herrington could pick one word to describe his daughter Parson, he'd choose warrior.
"Parson has a real rare genetic disease that happened in utero," Herrington said.
Parson Blue Herrington's condition took a downward spiral in October at the young age of 3-months-old. Doctors at the Children's Hospital in Houston told her family that they have only seen five cases like Parson Blue's in North America.
"She got a diagnosis of filamin A, a genetic disorder," Herrington said. "The message for today is to keep fighting."
The baby girl has only been on the donor list for four weeks.
"We've had six offers come through; six come up available," Herrington said. "But for some reason they were well oxygenated or for whatever reason there was a disease going through those lungs … they couldn't get those."
Over the past few months, the City of Jasper has gone above and beyond to make sure the Herrington's knew they had a support team.
Last month, Jasper Junior High students donated change each day to the pennies for Parson's drive, and they were able to raise more $2,395.
"It showed lots of compassion," said Lynn Jones, the faculty advisor for Jasper Junior High's Student Council. "It just gave us an opportunity to think outside of us and outside of our worlds."
"That's another blessing being in a small town working for a school district," Herrington said.
The gift of giving doesn't stop with the penny drive. Several Youth Leadership of Southeast Texas members decided to have special shirts made to wear for Parson Blue Day on Friday.
"Jasper isn't really known for anything good, but because of the T-shirt - I didn't expect to sell this many - but because of it, it made me realize that Jasper isn't a terrible place and that people care," Jacy Cordova, a Jasper ISD student, said.
So far, the students with Youth Leadership of East Texas have sold more than 1,200 students. At $10, a T-shirt, that's more than $12,000.
The community continues to show Parson Blue how much they care. Each selfless act has been a reminder for Jones, a mother of three.
"I look at just the simple little things we take for granted," Jones said.
Parson Blue has been on the transplant list in Houston for four weeks now at the Texas Children's Hospital waiting for a lung. The City of Jasper is hopeful she'll find a match in no time.