"We're throwing a birthday party (Tuesday)," Mercedes' aunt, Theresa Cooksey, told The Brazil Times. "She wants a Blue Star Cake and in yellow letters, she wants the word, 'Believe.' Her real birthday is not until Aug. 17, but we thought we might as well (celebrate it)."
Mercedes Elaine Compton is a 14-year-old Clay County resident who, on Jan. 29, 2010, was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblast Leukemia.
Since the diagnosis, she has had many difficulties, from side effects of medicine and chemotherapy to seizures and brain bleeds. She is currently a patient at the Peyton Manning Children's Hospital, Indianapolis, where she has been for close to three months.
Her body has rejected treatment thus far, but according to Theresa, Mercedes has remained strong throughout the ordeal.
Recently, members of the community began a Facebook campaign in order for one of Mercedes' final wishes to come true.
She wants to meet Ellen Degeneres.
According to Theresa, the campaign has gone so well, it has ballooned.
"Somebody checked it earlier," she said, "There's been a lot of (support). I think they said 6,000 (messages) were forwarded and 500 e-mails were written to Ellen.
"It's pretty amazing how our little town is."
The link to the Facebook page is www.facebook.com/home.php#!/event.php?ei....
A friend of Mercedes also provided a Letter to the Editor, which was printed in the Monday, April 25, 2011, issue of The Brazil Times.
The letter described Mercedes and her battle. It also stated she had just days to live.
On Tuesday, Theresa said the family was still waiting on confirmation from an attending nurse at the hospital to help with a referral to the Make A Wish Foundation. Theresa said they were attempting to set up an Internet phone call via Skype.
"She knows we are trying to make her wish come true," Theresa said. "But we haven't gone any further until we know for sure."
Theresa said dog tag necklaces were also made in honor of Mercedes. All sales from the necklaces will go toward Mercedes' treatments.
A necklace costs $5 and may be purchased at Auto-ER, 804 W. National Ave., Monday-Friday, from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
In addition, cards of encouragement and support may be dropped off at the location. They will be delivered to Mercedes.
Theresa said the current shipment of necklaces was delayed, but will be in soon.
"As soon as I get them, they (sell) pretty well," she said. "I've already sold four dozen."
For now, Theresa said Mercedes is in "good spirits."
"She has her moments," Theresa said. "But for the most part, she knows what is going on. She's got more strength than I could have ever imagined."