AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - The Strickland family from Happy is about to take a long trip. Although, instead of a family vacation, this trip is for medical reasons.
Sharla Strickland explained that their 6-year-old daughter, Hunsley, has a rare blood disease.
This has led to low platelet and blood count numbers which has resulted in several hospitalizations this year for Hunsley. With the blood condition not improving, Hunsley will need a bone marrow transplant.
To receive the necessary treatment, the Stricklands will leave next week for Minnesota and will not be able to return home to Happy until February.
Hunsley and her sister were worried that they would miss Christmas this year, so she asked to go ahead and decorate for the holidays.
I asked Hunsley and she readily told me she wanted to see all the lights before her trip to Minnesota.
The Strickland house is now fully decorated for the Christmas season, but it’s not the only spot in Happy with decorations, others have gotten involved.
After Sharla posted a picture of Hunsley and the decorated Christmas tree on social media and explained the situation, neighbors also began decorating as well as the school and some local businesses.
It did not take long for word spread, and soon the whole town of Happy was all in for Hunsley, including lighting the official city decorations early.
Happy City Manager Scott Downing told us that they received a request to put the city lights up early, but weren’t sure the lights would hold up in the wind for three months. But when they found out the request was for Hunsley, they didn’t hesitate.
He said Christmas lights were to bring joy and there was no better reason than this.
Josh and Sharla expressed how blessed they feel to have the town rally around them and that they are thankful that the community has responded in this way.
They said it is difficult at times but it always seems like someone in Happy is ready to help out and that it is wonderful to be part of a community like Happy, Texas.
This early Christmas kind of culminated tonight as Santa himself came to pick up Hunsley for a personal tour of the lights in Happy. And this town without a frown has gone to great measures to make sure there is a smile on the face of one of their little girls.
I have heard more than once here that as much as this early Christmas is meant to bring joy to Hunsley, it turns out that in the process she and her family are bringing just as much joy to those around them.
A GoFundMe has been set up to support Hunsley and her journey to receive a bone marrow transplant.
If you would like to donate you can look up the GoFundMe titles “Faith over fear:Hope for Hunsley”.