Two Cancer Patients Meet Their Life-Saving Bone Marrow Donors
The Icla da Silva 27th Hope Gala occurred recently in NYC. It was a wonderful evening spent reconnecting with old friends and making new ones. The cocktail hour was a buzz with beautiful smiles and interesting conversations. While the cameras were flashing, cocktails were poured, the band played lite jazz and delicious hors d’oeuvres hit just the right spot.
A silent auction was held during the cocktail reception in order to raise funds for the Foundation. Items were donated from near and far, including world-class dining from Per Se and restaurant Daniel, roundtrip airfare from JetBlue, select wines, designer jewelry, and a host of experiences from various spas, sports venues, and salons.
There are still a few items available. You can make a bid to win one of these items via this link.
The Main Event
Similar to years passed, the highlight of the evening was the first time meeting between a patient and their life-saving bone marrow donor.
U.S. Law maintains strict rules regarding the confidentiality of bone marrow patients and their donors. Both patient and donor must wait at least one year before they are asked if they consent to share their information. Hopefully, if they each say “yes”, they get the opportunity to meet face-to-face.
The Icla da Silva Foundation is fortunate to make these meetings happen every year.
But this year was different, this year we were able to showcase two patient/donor meetings.
Meeting #1: Giliani and Marta
We arranged a meeting between 8-year-old Giliani from Miami, who was diagnosed with Kostman’s disease, and her bone marrow donor, Marta Sanchez, from New York.
Marta had signed up to become a donor at a drive organized by the Icla da Silva Foundation many years ago. When she finally received a call that she matched a patient in need, she immediately said yes to the transplant.
Their first meeting was a heart-warming experience for everyone in the room. In the presence of nearly 300 people, among the glaring lights and flashing cameras, adorable Giliani came up to the stage with her mom…and met Marta, the complete stranger who saved her life.
You can read their story and watch a video of their emotional first-time meeting here.
As more people are added to the registry, the chances for a life-saving transplant increase. This year the Icla da Silva Foundation was able to share a second patient/donor meeting at our Hope Gala.
Meeting #2: Stephanie and Crystal
We also had the great fortune to present the first time meeting between Stephanie, a young woman from New Jersey who was diagnosed with AML (acute myeloid leukemia) and her life-saving donor Crystal Dozier from Arizona.
As a leukemia patient, Stephanie and her family had been working with the Icla da Silva Foundation during their search for a match. Stephanie had been to some of our events, and she came prepared with a speech…but she wasn’t prepared to hold back the tears…and neither could anyone else in the room.
Everyone watched as Stephanie and her donor Crystal hugged for the first time on stage. You could feel the intensity of that hug, and tears of joy were flowing at every table in the ballroom.
Read more about Stephanie’s battle for survival and watch the video of their first-time meeting via this link.
You Can Help Us Save More Lives
The Hope Gala was a heartwarming and unforgettable evening. But our Gala was more than just two first-time meetings between a patient and their donor, it was a celebration of 27 years of service, with more than half a million potential donors added to the registry.
The Gala was also in honor of the nearly 800 people who registered through Icla da Silva and saved lives by donating their bone marrow to matching patients.
We are grateful for those lifesavers. We also appreciate the many people who support our mission.
There are several ways that you can help us continue our mission of saving lives. The top 3 are as follows:
- Speak with us about hosting a drive through your connections with a university or employer. We are always looking for opportunities to reach people between the ages of 18-44 who may be interested in saving a life.
- You can volunteer at one of our events, or at some of our larger recruitment drives. We can always use a helping hand.
- Of course, you can also make a financial donation of any size. All donations are tax-deductible and are eligible to receive corporate matching from their employers. Ask your company if they match charitable contributions made by employees. Obviously, larger donations help us make strategic investments that further our vision.
Our vision is to ensure that every patient, regardless of ethnicity, has equal access to a matching stem cell donor. We also strive to give patients the support they need in order to receive their treatment.
You can also help by joining the registry. Click one of the links below. A swab kit will be mailed to your home. Once you return that kit, your name will be included in searches for life-saving donors.
Join the registry in honor of Giliani:
join the registry
Join the registry in honor of Stephanie:
join the registry
Thanks for reading. We hope to see you at future celebrations.
Written by Bret Itskowitch
Celebrating 25 Years Saving Lives
Hope is everything. It is the light in the eyes of those treading dark places, as they embrace the unknown with peace and fierce determination. It is the fire in the hearts of those who are suffering, a burning zest for life propelling them on through the valleys.
For twenty five wonderful years, the Icla da Silva Foundation has found hope and love holding it together. A non-profit organization with a special passion for bone marrow donor recruitment, every day brings a new sense of urgency towards the patients and their families relying on the foundation’s patient support services. The ups and downs of this kind of work may feel overwhelming at times, but where there is hope there is usually inexplicable endurance and unimaginable reward.
Show Up To A Magical Place
On October 18th, 2017 the Icla da Silva Foundation will host its annual Hope Gala. A fundraising benefit, it supports patients in need of bone marrow transplants, together with their support teams. It is also instrumental in continuing to effectively drive bone marrow donor recruitment in partnership with the Be The Match Registry.
An annual highlight of the New York event calendar, this festive celebration promises to be a fantastic experience as always. As people gather from all walks of life at Guastavino’s in New York City, it is time once again to tip our hats to the brilliant contributions of people who care. This year’s Hope Gala will be co-chaired by Claudio and Tânae Ferro and Claudio and Renata Garcia. Both Mr. Ferro and Mr. Garcia are executive leaders from AB Inbev.
Since the 2017 Hope Gala commemorates 25 years of firm foundational support provided by the Icla da Silva Foundation to a host of communities from around the world, it seemed wholly appropriate to be holding the event at Guastavino’s, New York. Nestled at the foundation of the 59th street bridge, the classic lines lead down pathways of fantasy and magical memories. Patrons and heroes gather for a glorious celebration of life, in preparation for another year providing hope to those who need it most.
There is a unique opportunity to participate in the foundation’s silent auction – an interesting collection of items to pique the dullest imagination. All proceeds go towards funding the foundation’s valuable work in bone marrow donor recruitment and patient services. Exciting items on auction include something for everyone, from an original painting by Concalo Ivo to (2) round trip tickets to Rio de Janeiro via Cope Airlines to tickets and backstage tour to Dear Evan Hansen.
Why not make a little extra donation on the side, too? Each and every dollar adds a new spark of hope for those suffering and searching for a bone marrow transplant match. The gala promises to be the largest fundraising event for the Icla da Silva Foundation to date. Saving lives is no small matter.
“We have an aggressive goal to increase funds, especially to aid families who have been faced with mounting medical bills in a tough economy,” said Airam da Silva, President of the Foundation. “The Foundation will utilize every possible resource to help save as many lives as possible”
A Matter Of The Heart
This year the foundation will honor two key players in the world of bone marrow donation. The first, Dr. Jeffrey Chell, is the Chief Executive Officer of Be The Match Registry. Be The Match is currently the largest, most diverse bone marrow registry in the world. It provides hope to brave souls suffering from leukemia and other diseases requiring bone marrow transplantation. He will be receiving the Legacy of Hope Award for his superb contribution to saving lives.
The Icla da Silva Foundation will also honor East River Medical Imaging, a medical diagnostic imaging center in New York. East River Medical Imaging’s leadership in healthcare and their continued dedication to philanthropy serve a host of grateful benefactors. Their work emphasises how valuable a contribution it is possible to make when you care enough to step out.
It is not possible to name every person who deserves our recognition and gratitude. The foundation holds dear each and every person, no matter the form or weight of their contribution. We will continually express gratitude on behalf of the patients and their families benefitting from your contributions day after day.
Finally and with happy hearts, therefore, the foundation is proud to present the highlight of the entire evening. There will be an emotional first-time meeting between patient and donor. Tancrede Bouveret, a 13 year-old former leukemia patient currently living in Brazil, will finally be able to meet his life-saving bone marrow donor from Madison, WI. The patients and their generous donors may not be introduced until a full year after a successful transplant, so this is a momentous occasion for both of these brave souls.
In the past quarter century, the Icla da Silva Foundation has been responsible for the registration of over 500,000 potential bone marrow donors. Supporting the Be The Match Registry, it is especially important to help minorities increase the pool available for bone marrow donation. Since inception, the foundation has also facilitated more than 600 bone marrow transplants; and assisted over 2000 patients and their families with emotional, logistical and financial support.
Did you know?
There are only 30 million registered potential bone marrow donors on the Worldwide Registry.
If you wish to contribute to the foundation’s noble legacy, please consider the following ways to become involved:
- Donating financially
- Volunteering with the organization
- Registering as a potential bone marrow donor with Be The Match Registry
The patients, donors, volunteers, contributors, supporters, dedicated researchers and medical professionals involved at the foundation will gladly attest to the spirit of camaraderie which has formed within its inner circles. Commitment to granting others a second chance at life fosters a deep connection between ordinary people doing extraordinary things in the world. The foundation, too, understands the blessing of knowing this kind of love exists in the world.American Boy Returns from Brazil to Meet His Life-Saving Bone Marrow Donor
New York (October 4, 2017) – The Icla da Silva Foundation will hold its annual Hope Gala – a fundraising benefit to support patients in need of a bone marrow transplant – on October 18, at Guastavino’s in New York City. This year’s Gala celebrates 25 years of the organization saving lives.
At the celebration, Tancrede Bouveret, a 13 year-old American boy and former leukemia patient, will meet for the very first time the bone marrow donor who saved his life. Tancrede, born in California and living in Brazil, developed Myelodysplasia Syndrome (MDS) in 2015, and was told by doctors that he would need a bone marrow transplant to survive. Without a match in their family, they made a plea to the public to help them find a matching marrow donor.
Tancrede’s two fathers were able to gain the support of the local community, and his story caught the attention of Brazilian celebrities, including renowned footballers Kaka and Neymar. The family’s prayers were answered in July 2015, when he received a marrow transplant from a young woman from Madison, Wisconsin. It was The Icla da Silva Foundation that initiated the donor search in the United States that resulted in the match. The two have waited over a year to meet for the very first time at the Icla da Silva Hope Gala.
The The Icla da Silva Foundation has been responsible for the registration of over 500,000 potentially life-saving bone marrow donors. Since inception, the Foundation has facilitated more than 600 bone marrow transplants and assisted over 2,000 patients and their families with emotional, logistical and financial support.
At the Hope Gala, the Foundation will honor Dr. Jeffrey Chell, CEO Emeritus of Be The Match, with the Legacy of Hope Award, and East River Medical Imaging, a medical diagnostic imaging center based in New York City, with the Healthcare Leadership Award for their support of the Foundation and dedication to better healthcare.
This year’s Hope Gala is co-chaired by Tânae and Claudio Braz Ferro, and Renata and Claudio Garcia. Both Mr. Ferro and Mr. Garcia are executive leaders from AB Inbev.
Wednesday, October 18, 2017
6:30PM | Cocktail Reception and Silent Auction
7:30 | Dinner and Dancing
Black Tie Optional
Click here to find more information, make a donation, and RSVP
409 East 59th Street
New York, NY 10022
About Icla da Silva
The mission of the Icla da Silva Foundation is to save lives by recruiting bone marrow donors and providing support services to children and adults with leukemia and other diseases treatable by marrow transplants. The Foundation was created in memory of a 13-year-old Brazilian girl named Icla da Silva. After two years of fighting leukemia, Icla passed away in New York City, where she came hoping to receive a necessary life-saving treatment: a bone marrow transplant. The young girl never found a matching donor. The Icla da Silva Foundation is 501(c)3 nonprofit.
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