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A Single Mom Donates Stem Cells to Her Twin Boys for the Second Time


Palm Beach Country, Florida

 When we first learned about Marelyn Salgado, she needed financial assistance. Her twin boys, Aaron and Ryan, were both diagnosed with sickle cell disease and scheduled to receive a bone marrow transplant.

This is what we do. The Icla da Silva Foundation removes barriers for patients who require a bone marrow or cord blood transplant. For patients demonstrating financial need, we provide grants during treatment.

But when we met, we discovered that this was their second transplant. The boys had already received a stem cell transplant from their mom last year. Due to complications, they needed another one. 

A Difficult Situation

As a single mom, Marelyn has been unable to work while acting as the caregiver for two 8-year-old boys with a blood disease. She has been without income for an extended period.

She was in a very difficult situation. 

Marelyn was alone, afraid, and unsure of the outcome. With sickle cell disease, the boys have lived in pain for years. They had already been through treatment and transplant, and now they needed to do it all over again.

Emotional Support

We were happy to provide the family with a grant while in treatment. We helped with housing, transportation, and support for meals. But, Marelyn needed more. She needed emotional support, someone to talk with who could understand her challenges. She needed a shoulder to lean on.

We have been speaking with Marelyn 2-3 times a week in the months before the boys’ second transplant. Days, evenings, and weekends; it didn’t matter. We wanted to help her get through this ordeal and understand that she is not alone.

At the very least, we wanted to provide her with hope.

The boys have received their second bone marrow transplant. Once again, their mom was the donor.

We wish them a full recovery and a chance to just be boys.

We want Marelyn to have high hopes for their future.

Thanks for reading. You can help support more patient families like Marelyn, Aaron, and Ryan with a donation.

Together, we will continue to make a difference in patients’ lives.


Written by: Bret Itskowitch

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