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One-Year-Old Boy Receives His Life-Saving Transplant

We were able to remove several barriers during his journey to a cure.

John was diagnosed with leukemia as a 2-month-old baby.

Obviously, his parents were concerned. They needed help understanding all the information about options and challenges. They weren’t sure what to expect or how to navigate the process.

They wanted the details in plain language.

The Icla da Silva Foundation helped John’s family overcome their first barrier.

With so much time traveling to receive treatments, and with so many tests and appointments scheduled, it was impossible for them to keep a regular work schedule. The family had a hard time making ends meet.

This was their second barrier.

Thanks to our generous supporters, we were able to provide funding to assist John’s family with housing needs.

By removing this barrier, his family was able to focus on treatment.

We are happy to report that John recently received a cord blood transplant. His body has accepted the new cells.

(watch a :30 video of his transplant)

We wish this little boy a happy, healthy life; a life that every child deserves.

Our supporters played an important role to ensure that another life was saved.

If you haven’t donated recently, please consider making a gift to help more patient families like John and his parents.

Together, we will continue to make a difference.

please donate

Written by: Bret Itskowitch

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In Memory: Vivianna Sophia Lane

With tremendous sadness, we were recently notified of the untimely passing of Vivianna Sophia Lane. She died Tuesday, August 7th at the Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. We extend heartfelt condolences to her family, her friends and anyone who was fortunate to come in contact with her. Sophia was a talented, passionate and hard working young woman who was fighting a battle with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. We were working with Sophia and her family in their search to find a matching bone marrow donor. Sophia was 21 years old.

Her family has notified us that they would like us to keep her hope alive; ” if you haven’t done so, please sign up to be a bone marrow donor. One hundred and forty people signed up to save her life, and others. It made her so happy in her last days.”

join the registry


Sophia’s Search for a Matching Donor

Vivianna “Sophia” Lane is a 21 year old college student at Lake Forest College, in Lake Forest, IL, a suburb north of Chicago. She is working towards her bachelors degree, a double major in Business and Studio Art.

Sophia is energetic, creative, outgoing and well rounded. She is passionate about art, golf, singing, biking and swimming. She is hard working. Her dedication to golf includes competing on the boys team in high school, caddying, coaching and working at a golf shop. Her devotion to art encompasses volunteering, two internships and her first solo exhibition at the Evanston Art Center.

Sophia also has B cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. She was diagnosed last year (November 2017), underwent chemotherapy treatments and relapsed just last month (July 2018). Her doctors are working to get her into remission so that she can undergo a stem cell transplant. Sophia does not have a sibling match and will rely on the Be the Match registry to find a lifesaving donor.

We need to find a matching stem cell donor for Sophia. The only way to do this is to ask more people to join the registry.

Joining is easy. Click the link, setup an account with an email and password, and answer a few questions. A swab kit will be sent to your home. Once you swab the inside of your cheek and return it to Be the Match, you are entered in the registry and included in patient searches.

More than 14,000 patients are searching every year. Their cure is inside you. You may save a life.

Please join the registry for Sophia: join the registry

To find more information about the donation process, please click here.

If you have already joined, please help us share Sophia’s story so that we may get others to consider becoming a potential life-saver.

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Renata Has Faith


Renata Coimbra is full of life.  She is always smiling and spreads joy wherever she goes.  She is very close with her family and friends, she worries about those less fortunate, and she regularly contributes to her church and her community.  She is recently married, a positive role model, and faithfully leads others in prayer.

Renata was recently diagnosed with leukemia and is in desperate need of a bone marrow donor.  She has begun an aggressive treatment of chemotherapy and she knows that she has a long and difficult path ahead, but she has faith that she will find a matching donor.

In 2001, she moved from Espirito Santo in southern Brazil, to Boston, Massachusetts, where she worked as a house manager and loving nanny for 13 years.  Missing the tropical climate of her childhood, Renata moved to Florida in 2014, where she met and married her love, Danilo. Together, they enjoy music and movies, regularly attend church, and spend time with Danilo’s family, who has accepted her as their own.

bone marrow donor

Late last year, Renata was suffering from shortness of breath.  After multiple visits with doctors and specialists, she was unexpectedly diagnosed with a lymphoma that had formed in her chest and attacked the bone marrow.  It quickly developed into leukemia. She has been told that even with chemo treatments to fight the cancer in her blood, a bone marrow transplant will be necessary to ensure her survival.  After multiple treatments and two hospitalizations in the short timespan since she has been diagnosed, she has been forced to quit her job and live a remarkably different lifestyle.

Before she got sick, Renata and Danilo enjoyed dancing and going to the beach on weekends.  Although she misses work and her Zumba class, she has never lost faith that she will overcome this disease.

Renata’s faith is overwhelming.  Early in the search, they found three matching donors.  Unfortunately, none of them were ready to make the commitment to donate.  Renata insists that she has the support of God, friends and family, and a matching donor will come through.

While we certainly hope that everyone who registers is able to stay committed if they ever receive the call, it is important to recognize that the vast majority of bone marrow patients require a non-surgical process called peripheral blood stem cell donation (PBSC).

A PBSC bone marrow transplant requires a donor to take injections of filgrastim over the course of 5 days, which increases the number of blood forming cells in your blood stream.  On the day of donation, your blood is removed through a needle in one arm, passed into a machine that separates the blood forming cells that your body has produced, and then your blood is returned back into your body through the other arm.

The process is relatively simple.

Please consider registering to become a potential bone marrow donor for Renata and the many other patients who are looking for a match.

JOIN THE REGISTRY

We share Renata’s faith that more people will register and stay committed.

We ask you to share Renata’s faith that more people will register and stay committed. Share her story:

 

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