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Icla Cares Helped Darphelia Receive Her Treatment and Transplant

 

The Icla da Silva Foundation removed another barrier and one more life was saved. The short story below details how we recently helped a patient in need.

Everyone recognizes that gas is expensive, especially now. The cost is particularly high in California.

But what if you didn’t have a choice?

I understand we can’t affect the price of gas, but what if your life depended on a 30-mile car ride to the nearest cancer center? What if you had to take this trip three times per week to receive your life-saving treatment?

This was Darphelia’s barrier.

Due to Multiple Myeloma, a life-threatening disease, Darphelia wasn’t allowed to take public transport or carpool with others.

She certainly couldn’t skip a day and just stay home.

Her illness, and her doctors, had pulled her out of work a while ago. And she had already gone through her retirement savings.

Darphelia told us that this was the first time in her life with no income.

What was she to do?

Icla Cares worked closely with the social worker from UC San Diego Health to get Darphelia the support she needed. We removed her barrier so she could receive repeated, high-dose chemotherapy treatments and then an autologous blood stem cell transplant.

The transplant was successful.

Darphelia is eating again, “eating clean” as she says. She has gained back some energy and is happy just to be able to walk around the block.

Thank you! I can’t say how much I appreciate the help that I received. It’s difficult to judge a situation without having gone through it yourself.” – Darphelia Lowe, Multiple Myeloma Survivor

Thanks to our friends and supporters, we removed one more barrier and another patient received their transplant.

If you haven’t already, please consider making a donation to help us remove barriers to treatment for patients in need.

Your gift matters more than you know.

DONATE TODAY

Thanks for reading.

Written by: Bret Itskowitch

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Another Barrier Removed When No One Else Could Help

 

The Icla da Silva Foundation goes the ‘extra mile’ to ensure that another life is saved.

Young Herzel was inspired to become a nurse after surviving thyroid cancer in 2017. The remarkable care that she received as a patient impacted her greatly, and she enrolled in nursing school with a desire to help others.

But while preparing for her exam to become a Certified Dialysis Nurse, Herzel was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML).

A bone marrow transplant was her only chance for a cure, and there were no matching donors for her on the registry.

Finding a Donor

The bone marrow transplant team at New York-Presbyterian / Weill Cornell Medical Center acted fast to test her brother Reggie back in the Philippines as a potential donor.

Luckily, he was a 100% match.

However, this fantastic news still presented a barrier.

Herzel is a smart, hard-working young woman. Although she was unable to maintain her employment during so many visits and treatments at the hospital, she kept her living expenses low and paid her bills on time.

But the expense to bring her brother to the U.S., so he could transplant his stem cells, was unaffordable at the moment. Her savings had already been depleted.

She didn’t know what to do. Her doctors wanted to schedule the transplant as soon as possible.

No organization was able to fund international travel for her donor.

Removing Barriers

A social worker at New York-Presbyterian contacted the Icla da Silva Foundation. After gathering and organizing the necessary paperwork, and thanks to the generous supporters of the Foundation, not only did we provide the funds, we made the flight reservations.

Within days, this life-threatening financial barrier was removed and Herzl’s brother arrived in New York for the donation. The transplant was successful and Reggie saved his sister’s life. They spent a few days together before he returned home to the Philippines.

Giving Back

The gift of life that Herzel received only strengthened her desire to help others.

She passed her nursing exams and recently began working for the NYC Department of Health. Herzel is thankful for the support that she received and has applied to Volunteer for the Icla da Silva Foundation.

We asked Herzel what she would say to the donors who made her brother’s trip possible.

“I want to thank everyone for giving me this opportunity to live a healthy life again. I couldn’t be any more grateful for the Icla da Silva Foundation. I want to help the Foundation as much as I can so other patients like me can have the same opportunity for life.”

You can help us support more patients like Herzel. Your donation will remove barriers for patients needing a bone marrow or cord blood transplant.

Your donation will save lives.

DONATE today

Written by: Bret Itskowitch

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Helping a Patient’s Mom Fulfill an Urgent Need

The Icla da Silva Foundation removes barriers to treatment for bone marrow patients. Some of these barriers may seem less consequential, but to the mother of a patient with blood cancer, any support can make a world of difference.


We were recently introduced to Josephine and her 13-year-old son Nathaniel by a social worker at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore. Nathaniel was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), a cancer of the blood and bone marrow. His only cure was a matching bine marrow transplant.

Fortunately for Nathaniel, his little brother was identified as a matching donor and he is receiving a transplant.

But his mother Josephine had another barrier. As a single mom with two children, she needed to afford someone to watch her younger child so she could be with Nathaniel during his treatment after the transplant.

She couldn’t be in two places at once. This was her barrier.

The IclaCares program was able to help a mother fulfill an urgent need. We were able to remove her barrier in less than a week.

Our support enabled Josephine to place one of her challenges on the back burner, so she could focus on her son while he received his bone marrow transplant and treatment.

We were able to help Josephine and her family thanks to the support of our donors.

Please consider making a donation to help us support more patient families with urgent needs. Even a small donation can remove a barrier that isn’t often considered.

The Icla da Silva Foundation appreciates your support. We know patients like Josephine are extremely grateful.

MAKE A DONATION

Written by: Bret Itskowitch

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Asaya’s Birthday Success Story

After 9 years, Asaya finally received his bone marrow transplant – three days before his 10th birthday!

You may remember Asaya Bullock from earlier stories on our website and social media pages. Asaya suffered from a rare disease called IPEX Syndrome. IPEX is a rare, life-threatening, autoimmune disorder, which caused Asaya to suffer from severe stomach issues, migraines, body aches, rashes, and joint pain for most of his young life.

His only cure was a matching bone marrow donor.

We have been working with Asaya since 2015, recruiting potential marrow donors and providing urgent needs assistance for his family. This video shows 4-year-old Asaya when we first began his search.

There Was No Matching Donor

While thousands of donors were added to the national registry in Asaya’s name, a matching donor was never found.

As Asaya got older, his illness became worse. His health was deteriorating. He was in and out of the hospital multiple times in recent months.

After his original diagnosis, the doctors didn’t believe he would survive past the age of two. He was already living on borrowed time.

Can you imagine the pain and perseverance that his parents have lived with…

“You don’t ever sleep because you know at any point in time your baby could lie down next to you and he doesn’t wake up” – Charlene Bullock

“He doesn’t give up. I don’t give up. We don’t give up” – Vincent Bullock

A Rare Success

The medical team agreed to the family’s request for a ‘haplo’ transplant. A haploidentical transplant uses healthy, blood-forming cells from a half-matched donor. The donor is usually a parent – since each parent represents about half of your genetic make-up.

They are not always successful.

On July 27, 2021, Asaya received a half-matched transplant from his dad.

The transplant was successful.

 

 

 

Three days after his transplant, on July 30th, Asaya celebrated his 10th birthday!

 

 

 

 

Asaya seems to be doing fine. His body successfully accepted 99.4% of the cells. His doctor says this was rare.

So far, there are no complications and he is eating and drinking on his own, which is a terrific sign.

Next Steps

Fortunately, there was room at the Ronald McDonald House in NYC. Asaya will have to stay for 120 days, remaining close to his hospital while they continue to check his progress.

We wish Asaya a long, healthy, pain-free life…with many, many more birthdays to celebrate!

Help us support more patients like Asaya by considering a donation

PLEASE DONATE

Written by: Bret Itskowitch

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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.

 

Why Are We Celebrating?

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.

Why Should You Attend?

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.

Will We See You This Year?

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

 

 

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