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COVID-19 face mask shortage frustrates family whose child has cancer

A North Texas mom posts on Facebook, asking people to consider people with weak immune systems before buying excessive amounts of face masks.

DALLAS — As COVID-19 spreads in the United States, many are panicking. Hand sanitizer, wipes and face masks are flying off the shelves. But a North Texas mom is asking people to be considerate to those who truly need the supplies.

Christine Martin is the mother of 10-year-old Isabelle Martin.

In mid-February, her daughter was at dance practice when she fell and broke her femur. At the hospital, doctors also found osteosarcoma, cancer in her bones.

Isabelle was given a treatment plan immediately, and they dove into chemotherapy. After her first round of chemo, the family received two N95 face masks from hospital staff to take home.

"When they handed it to us after her first chemo treatment, they handed it to us and they said 'handle this like gold,'" said Christine.

Isabelle's parents quickly noticed the shortage of masks. 

RELATED: Face mask shortage danger as coronavirus has people gobbling them up

"Unfortunate timing with coronavirus going on," said David Martin, her dad.

They searched everywhere to find more masks for their daughter, but haven't been able to purchase any.

Her daughter's immune system is compromised as she undergoes chemotherapy, and they are concerned about her health, along with the health of other patients.

Christine posted on social media, asking people to understand:

Credit: Christine Fego Martin

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported a shortage of masks. It states, "For the general public, CDC does not recommend the use of facemasks or respirators."

CDC recommends daily preventative actions, including avoiding people who are sick, not touching your face, or covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue. It also recommends people who are sick to stay home and not go to crowded places.

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