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Sam Benshoof/FOCUS Cassidy Anderson, 6, helps Emma Rose of Perham mix a Blizzard during Dairy Queen's Miracle Treat Day on Thursday.

Miracle Treat Day benefits 6-year-old Frazee girl

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Visitors to Dairy Queen in Perham on Thursday may have noticed something different about one of the employees behind the counter - little 6-year-old Cassidy Anderson was helping serve Blizzards.

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Anderson, from Frazee, is a patient at Sanford Children's Hospital, and was at Dairy Queen to help celebrate Miracle Treat Day. Participating restaurants will donate $1 or more of Blizzard proceeds to the Children's Miracle Network, which benefits Sanford Children's Hospitals.

Anderson, who likes to play with Barbie dolls and to play soccer like any normal 6-year-old, was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia when she was one and a half years old. A year ago, she went through two rounds of chemotherapy, and doctors decided that she would need a bone marrow transplant.

According to her uncle Dennis Wheeler, she underwent the transplant on Nov. 15, 2010.

Since the time of the transplant, there has been no sign of the cancer, Wheeler said. While encouraged, doctors hope to make it through two years without any sign of the disease before being fully optimistic.

"Nov. 15 is her new birthday," Wheeler said. "She was reborn that day."

For Anderson, being at the hospital has been normal.

"She's probably spent as much time in the hospital as out of it," Wheeler said.

Anderson, who will be starting kindergarten in Frazee this fall, will undergo treatments the rest of her life.

The support that families such as theirs receive from Miracle Treat Day is "amazing," Wheeler said. "The support that's there - every little dollar is helping us with needs and what we're going through."

Miss Perham 2011 Paige Meyer was present for Miracle Treat Day, and greeted customers as they came in the door. Part of Meyer's platform is partnering with Children's Miracle Network for events such as Thursday.

"Meeting little Cassidy has been awesome," Meyer said of Thursday's experience.

"Cassidy is a very outgoing, happy little girl who enjoys every bit of life," Wheeler said, as Anderson loudly offered up a Blizzard to a Dairy Queen customer.

Anderson said her experience of helping to make and serve Blizzards at Dairy Queen was a good one.

"I like working," she said, and then shrugged her shoulders as if her break was over. "Well, I have to get back to work."

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