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Bruno: 1, Leukemia: 0

In 2009, Bruno was living the normal life of a 9-year-old in Texas. One day his mother noticed that his gums had become swollen, and Bruno told her that he had some trouble breathing. After being evaluated at dentist’s office, the dentist sent him directly to the emergency room where he was then diagnosed with Acute Myeloblastic Leukemia (AML). AML causes the body to overproduce abnormal white blood cells, which in turn interfere with the production of healthy red blood cells. The cancer progresses rapidly and can be fatal within weeks if untreated.

The one proven cure for AML is a bone marrow transplant, which is immensely expensive. Unfortunately, Bruno did not have health insurance to cover the transplant.  He then began to receive chemotherapy treatment, but his body was not responding well.

In 2009, by chance, Bruno’s family read an article in a local newspaper about The Icla da Silva Foundation. The family contacted the Foundation searching for information about bone marrow transplants, and asking for help navigating the increasingly complex healthcare system.

The Icla da Silva Foundation immediately offered to help and tested Bruno’s two siblings to see if they were possible matches. A few weeks later the test results came back and found that Bruno’s brother was indeed a match.

Upon hearing the good news, the Foundation set its sights on finding a way to help Bruno receive a transplant. The Foundation was able to partner with the Alfred du Pont Children’s Hospital in Wilmington, Delaware where  Bruno and his family travel to and stayed for six months while Bruno received his transplant.

Six years later, Bruno is a healthy, cancer-free sixteen-year-old.  He and his family have come so far, and we at the Foundation are exceedingly proud to have been able to help Bruno find a cure.

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