April 26, 2023 | Lead News, Patient Stories, Survivor Stories
Hope and Healing: A Mother’s Story of Her Son’s Sickle Cell Cure
REMOVING BARRIERS – NASIR’S STORY
For nineteen years, Nasir lived a life filled with pain and uncertainty due to sickle cell disease. His mother SueAnn, watched helplessly as her son endured countless complications, blood transfusions, and pain crises.
She vividly remembers the first time Nasir woke up screaming in pain. He was only two months old and his little hands were swollen to the size of a man’s hands.
When she called the doctor, he said Nasir was going through a pain crisis and he prescribed morphine. She remembered thinking, “morphine, for my two-month-old baby, why is this happening?”
That was their struggle for 19 years.
They never knew when the next crisis would strike, or how severe it would be. It was a life filled with pain, uncertainty, and fear. Just like any mother would, SueAnn felt helpless and defeated.
Finding a Cure
Then on one fateful day, everything changed.
They met a doctor who recommended a bone marrow transplant, using stem cells from Nasir’s own body.
SueAnn was hesitant at first, but the doctor explained the process and the expected outcome.
SueAnn described this doctor as “an Angel,” and she suddenly felt full of hope.
With renewed faith, she knew her son Nasir’s life was about to change.
An Autologous Bone Marrow Transplant
Using an autologous bone marrow transplant to treat sickle cell disease is relatively new. The process uses stem cells from your own body, so it doesn’t rely on a matching donor. But it comes with potential complications and challenges.
Nasir went through the treatment, and although it’s still early, his transplant was successful.
SueAnn felt like her sister Lisa, who had passed away from sickle cell disease one year ago, was watching over them and helping guide Nasir through his transplant.
Receiving Support from the Icla da Silva Foundation
As a single mother, SueAnn admits that the process was hard on them.
She could not work because she needed to be with her son during his treatments and transplant. Fortunately, the Icla Cares program provided financial assistance for gas, utilities, and groceries while Nasir was in treatment.
SueAnn is grateful for the support they received. She talked about the strain they endured.
She told us that the Icla da Silva Foundation gave her son joy. After learning about the support, Nasir wasn’t just happy for himself but “excited for the other families who are able to receive a happy, healthy, healed life.”
You Can Help
If you feel inspired by this story about Nasir, please consider donating to the Icla da Silva Foundation. We remove barriers to treatment by providing financial support for expenses during treatment and transplant.
Your gift will remove barriers for a patient in need during their bone marrow transplant.
Written by: Bret Itskowitch