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A Home Run For Kobe

Nine-Year-Old Kobe is Now Cancer-Free and Playing Baseball Again!

Kobe Washington was playing his favorite game, baseball, when he fell ill. He had just turned eight-years-old and was on a baseball trip with his family. His parents noticed that Kobe seemed sluggish. The lymph nodes around his neck were swollen and he had a slight fever, so they took him to a local hospital.

Soon after arriving, the doctors had him airlifted to Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersberg, Florida.

Kobe was diagnosed with T-cell lymphoblastic leukemia, an aggressive blood cancer.

That was in August of 2020. Since then, it has been a whirlwind year for Kobe and his family.

The Challenges of Blood Cancer

His little body had to withstand all of the treatments that come with blood cancer; chemo, emergency surgeries, blood transfusions, spinal taps, kidney issues, hypertension, and radiation.

There were many challenges, but Kobe managed them all like a true sportsman, he was always smiling, always positive.

Due to the severity of his cancer, Kobe’s parents had no choice but to quit work. He required 24/7 caretaker support, even while in the hospital. His parents split their time between watching over Kobe and caring for their other children.

Icla Cares

The Icla da Silva Foundation was happy to be able to provide some financial assistance while we continued the search for a matching donor.

Thousands signed up to become potential donors, and we were grateful, but no one matched Kobe.

His time was running out.

A Successful Transplant

In March of 2021, seven months after diagnosis, Kobe’s medical team decided to transplant blood stem cells from his father, even though he was only a 50% match.

Surprisingly in June, 100 days later, Kobe’s bone marrow biopsy showed 100% donor origin, with no trace of leukemia.

Kobe is now nine-years-old and cancer-free.

He still has to visit the hospital every two weeks for check-ups, but he is building back his strength and Kobe is playing baseball again!

We are very happy for him and his family. Good news like this cannot be celebrated enough.

We wish him a happy return to childhood…and many more baseball games.

You can help us support more patients like Kobe.

PLEASE DONATE

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A Life-Saving Journey from the Dominican Republic

It required a coordinated effort of logistics, financial assistance, and of course emotional support to create this life-saving journey.

You may remember a young patient we worked with named Victor Garcia. At the age of 9, Victor was diagnosed with acute biphenotypic leukemia (BAL), a rare form of leukemia. He was being treated at a hospital in his home country of the Dominican Republic. His doctor determined that the only cure for Victor was a bone marrow transplant from a matching donor. 

But there was no matching donor on the registry.

Since siblings represent the best chance for a match, the Icla da Silva Foundation was able to fund HLA testing for his 7-tear-old sister Neyyleyn. 

We were happy to find out that Neyyleyn was a 100% match for her brother Victor. But unfortunately, the local hospital did not have the resources to perform the transplant.

Emotional, Logistical, and Financial Support

The Icla da Silva Foundation went into overdrive. We supported Victors’ family and helped coordinate his transplant under a clinical trial at Yale New Haven Teaching Hospital in Connecticut. Our team worked the logistics between the family, the doctors, and the consulates from both countries, assuring that Victor would be able to receive a life-saving transplant.

Thanks to financial support from donors like you, we were also able to fund transportation for the Garcia’s to the United States, while the Ronald McDonald House graciously provided housing.

It took many steps and multiple partners, but a little boy’s life was saved. The Icla da Silva Foundation is both proud and happy to have played a critical role.

Victor is doing well, he is back home in the Dominican Republic; going to school and playing baseball.

You can help us create more life-saving stories like Victors. Please consider a financial contribution to our Icla Cares program.

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