fbpx
Skip to main content

Mark Was Diagnosed With the Same Rare Cancer That Took His Father’s Life

Removing Barriers – Mark’s Story

It all started when he was admitted into the emergency room in November 2021 with COVID-19. 

Something wasn’t right, and further testing led to a diagnosis of MDS, myelodysplastic syndrome. MDS is a fatal disease caused by a disruption in the production of blood cells.

Although rare, Mark was familiar with MDS.

His father received the same diagnosis many years ago. At that time, his father was considered too old for treatment. They sent him home to get his affairs in order, and he passed away 18 months later.

After several bone marrow biopsies, Mark was admitted to Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. He was fortunate to receive a bone marrow transplant from his brother Dave, who was a 10-out-of-10 match.

Mark received his blood stem cell transplant in June and is recovering. 

Identifying Barriers

Due to complications following the transplant, he needed to remain in Seattle longer than expected for follow-up treatment. The hospital requires patients to stay within 30 minutes of the Cancer Care Clinic, but Mark lives outside of Seattle. 

With daily appointments, the travel would have been too much for him. He insists it could have ended his life.

Seattle Cancer Care Alliance has a Cancer Care House, which they offer to patients at a discounted rate. Mark and his wife had already exhausted their medical leave and depleted their savings. They have been paying their bills, essentially holding two homes – their regular home and their hospital home – while receiving cancer treatment. 

They weren’t sure how they would afford it, but they didn’t have a choice.

Removing Barriers – Icla Cares

A social worker from the hospital reached out to the Icla da Silva Foundation and submitted a request for assistance. Lodging during treatment for a bone marrow transplant is one of those barriers that is not covered by medical insurance. The goal of the Icla Cares program is to remove some of those barriers.

Thanks to our generous supporters, we were able to help Mark with a grant for lodging during his follow-up treatment. 

His cancer is currently in remission.

Mark told us he will be “forever grateful”, but we just want him to recover so he can return home and be a grandfather to his 20 grandchildren.

 

Please watch Mark Share his heartfelt story below.

The Icla da Silva Foundation has been supporting patients in need of a bone marrow transplant for 30 years. The Icla Cares program removes barriers for patients with critical needs.

Our program is reliant on the generosity of donors. Please consider donating to support patients who require a bone marrow or cord blood transplant.

No gift is too small.

DONATE

Thank you.

Written by: Bret Itskowitch

Share this: