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On October 17, 2018, Aunesti Sullivan and her extended family met Michael Powell, the man who saved her life.
Aunesti, a 13 year old girl from Toledo, Ohio, was born with sickle cell anemia. At the age of 10, as a result of the sickle cell, she developed Avascular Necrosis (AVN), also known as brittle bone disease.
Needless to say, Aunesti’s young life has been filled with treatments, transfusions, and extended hospital stays.
Her doctors recommended a bone marrow transplant to cure her disease, and she was fortunate to find a 100% matching donor through the Be The Match registry. That Donor is Michael Powell, and he joined the registry through a donor drive run by the Icla da Silva Foundation.
Michael donated his bone marrow through a surgical procedure on June 1, 2017 at Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York City. On June 2, Aunesti received a bone marrow transplant at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus Ohio.
One year following the transplant, and Aunesti is doing very well. She is active, back in school, and living the life of a teenager. This past October, at the annual Icla da Silva Hope Gala in New York City, Aunesti and Michael met for the first time.
“He’s given me a quality of life, he’s given me the opportunity to be a teenager, and live life to the fullest.”
– Aunesti Sullivan
“Someone needed help and it was an opportunity for me to help that person…I couldn’t think of a reason not to do it.”
– Michael Powell
As we begin the coming holiday season, we are both thankful and grateful. One person gave and another received, and both are better as a result.
Anyone between the age of 18-44 can join the registry and become a potential donor for a patient in need. Please join.
join the registry
Watch below for a recap of their meeting at the 26th Icla da Silva Hope Gala on October 17, 2018:
Written by: Bret ItskowitchA Night to Remember with Jennifer Jones Austin: Together We Can Save More Lives
The Icla da Silva Foundation is proud to announce Jennifer Jones Austin as Master of Ceremonies at the 2018 Hope Gala. The Gala event, taking place on October 17th in NYC is the largest fundraiser for Icla da Silva.
Jennifer Jones Austin is a wife, mother, lawyer and family advocate. She is CEO and Executive Director of the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies (FPWA), an anti-poverty, policy and advocacy organization with 170 member human services agencies operating throughout New York City. Prior to joining FPWA, Ms. Jones Austin served as Senior Vice President of United Way NYC, Family Services Coordinator for Mayor Bloomberg, Deputy Commissioner for the NYC Administration for Children’s Services, Civil Rights Deputy Bureau Chief for Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, and Vice President for LearnNow/Edison Schools Inc. She currently is a Board Member of the National Action Network, the New York Blood Center, the NYC Board of Correction, and the Fund for Public Housing.
She is also a leukemia survivor, and the author of Consider It Pure Joy. The book is an account of her battle with leukemia, and her race against time in the search for a cure. Together with family and friends, Jennifer Jones Austin led a campaign that added more than 13,000 potential bone marrow donors to the registry. Those donors added much needed hope for the many patients fighting this deadly disease.
The Icla da Silva Foundation assisted Jennifer Jones Austin during her search. We are grateful that she, and her husband Shawn Austin, who serves as Chairman on the Board of Trustees for the Icla da Silva Foundation, stand with us and continue their support of our mission.
Please join us for a night to remember.
The 2018 Hope Gala takes place on Wednesday evening, October 17th at 6:30 PM. The dinner and dance is black tie optional and will be held at Guastavino’s, 409 east 59th Street in New York City.
rsvp for a night to remember
Join Us on October 17th and Help Save More Lives
The 2018 Hope Gala takes place on Wednesday, October 17th at 6:30 PM. The dinner and dance is black tie optional and will be held at Guastavino’s, 409 east 59th Street in New York City. The Hope Gala is the largest fundraising event for the Icla da Silva Foundation.
The Hope Gala celebrates our achievements and raises funds to continue our fight against leukemia and other diseases treatable by bone marrow transplants.
Thanks to your support, so far this year, the Icla da Silva Foundation has held 1374 donor recruitment drives across the country. At those drives, we have added 20,246 potentially life-saving donors to the Be the Match bone marrow registry. We aren’t finished yet.
Our focus is to increase awareness, and register more donors who are ethnically diverse. Unfortunately, blood cancer patients who are ethnically diverse, have less than a 50% chance of finding a potential match. We want to change that.
Your attendance and the resulting donations this year, will help us add greater diversity to the bone marrow registry. A portion of the funds raised, also go towards our Patient Support Services program. The program helps patients and their families deal with some of the financial difficulties when presented with a life threatening blood cancer.
Icla da Silva uses it’s knowledge and experience to guide patient families with information, logistics, and emotional support. With the funds raised last year, we have been able to help patients with transportation, lodging and meals related to their bone marrow transplant and treatment. We have also assisted with HLA typing and medical expenses.
This years Hope Gala will include more than 300 influential guests from the worlds of business, healthcare, the arts, philanthropy, and academia. The evening promises to be an affair to remember. Please extend an invitation to your friends and associates. Cocktails and a silent auction begin at 6:30PM. Dinner and dancing start at 7:30 PM.
JOIN US IN OUR FIGHT TO HELP MORE PATIENTS
please RSVP today
The Summertime Swab Challenge
Throughout the month of July, the Icla da Silva Foundation is running the Summertime Swab Challenge. Enter a guess – how many swabs did we fit in the jar? The person with the closest guess to the actual number of swabs will get to choose one of two fantastic prizes, valued at over $500. While you enjoy the warmer days and bigger smiles associated with summer, we hope you will take a chance and enter a guess to help a patient in need.
Swabs are a big part of what we do. When you join the Be The Match bone marrow registry, you receive a swab kit in the mail. After you have swabbed the inside of your cheek, you send it back to Be The Match so that your HLA type can be tested, registered, and included in patient searches. Hopefully you will be matched to one of the 14,000 patients who need a transplant to survive. Swabs are about registering yourself to become a life saver.
During the month of July, we are using swabs to increase awareness and raise funds so that we can continue to save more lives.
We have filled a 2.5 gallon glass jar with q-tip sized swabs and closed the lid. Underneath the jar is an envelope that details the # of swabs included in the jar. On August 1, 2018, we will open the envelope on social media and reveal the # of swabs. Will you be a winner?
From July 1st through July 31st, you will have the chance to make a small donation* and enter your guess as to how many swabs we have fit into the jar. All donations will go towards our Patient Support Services program. Based on need, we try to assist patient families with expenses associated with bone marrow testing and treatments. Items like HLA typing, medical co-pays, transportation, and housing can become overbearing when a patent, or their family, don’t have the savings available to manage all of the costs associated with an extensive treatment plan.
Donate and guess as often as you like. Share your guess with your social network. Every donation will help a patient in need, sharing on facebook will help increase awareness about how easy it is to become a life saver, and entering will earn you a chance to win a fantastic prize.
* no donation necessary, see official rules for alternative entry.
The person who provides the most accurate guess as to the actual # of swabs in the jar will will have their choice between one of two fantastic prize options, A or B:
Option A: If your guess is the closest, you could choose (2) tickets to the 2018 Annual Hope Gala event in New York City. The Gala is our black tie (optional) dinner and dance where we celebrate our recent achievements and showcase a first time meeting between a transplant patient and their bone marrow donor.
You will enjoy great company, good food and dance the night away. You will laugh, you will cry, and you will help us celebrate the patients who we support and the lives that we save.
The Hope Gala event takes place on October 17, 2018 at Gustavino’s, 409 East 59th Street, New York, NY from 6:30PM until 9:30PM. Transportation, accommodations and other costs associated with attending this event are not included with this prize award. Total retail value is $900.
Option B: As an alternative, you may choose a $500 gift certificate to the Brazilian steakhouse, Fogo de Chao. The restaurant is inspired by the grand kitchen tables on the farms in Southern Brazil, where family and friends gather to share the finest and the freshest from their harvest.
Fogo de Chao has 39 locations throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico and the gift certificate is available to use at a location of your choice until August 1, 2020.
Summertime swab challenge
On August 1, 2018, on social media, we will open the envelope that reveals the # of swabs in the jar. Will you be the winner? Enter a guess and you may have your choice between one of 2 great prizes. Please share our sweepstakes promotion on facebook and ask your friends to enter their guess.
Enjoy the summer!