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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.


Thanks for reading.

Written by: Bret Itskowitch

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Removing Katie’s Barrier to Treatment

We received a heartfelt message from a blood cancer patient last week. It read simply, “You are the answer to my prayer.

The message was sent to us by Katie. She is a single mom, diagnosed with leukemia whose only cure is a bone marrow transplant.

For 29 years, we have supported patients who require a bone marrow transplant. We are very familiar with the challenges and barriers to receiving a life–saving transplant. It usually begins with the search for a matching donor.

Katie already had a matching donor, and she was ready for her transplant. But the transplant team would not schedule her until she could make arrangements for a Caregiver.

A Caregiver was required to assist her for an extended period after the transplant.

Katie’s insurance, like most, did not cover the expense of a Caregiver.

This was Katie’s barrier.

She has been unable to work since her diagnosis and she required a little support. Fortunately, the Icla da Silva Foundation provided Katie with the financial support she needed to arrange for a Caregiver.

Katie is scheduled to receive her transplant.

The Icla da Silva Foundation helps patients in need of a bone marrow transplant by removing barriers. We do this by providing emotional, logistical, and critical financial support. Our goal is to ensure that more patients will receive their transplants.

For patients demonstrating financial need, we help with expenses that usually aren’t covered by insurance and often prohibit treatment. These include transportation, temporary housing, and caregiver expenses while in treatment.

You can help us save more lives! Consider making a financial donation to support our mission. Together we will help more patients and save more lives.

make a donation

If you are a patient waiting for a bone marrow transplant, and in need of support, please submit a request

submit a request

Thanks for reading.

Written by: Bret Itskowitch

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Expanding Our Mission: Removing Barriers to Treatment

Expanding Our Mission: Removing Barriers

We recently expanded our life-saving mission to put greater focus on removing barriers to treatment. For the past 29 years, the Icla da Silva Foundation has helped patients in need of a bone marrow or cord blood transplant by recruiting potential donors. In 2022, we are focused on providing emotional, logistical, and financial support for more patients in need of a bone marrow transplant.

For patients demonstrating financial need, our IclaCares program is awarding grants that are specific to the needs of transplant patients.

⇒ We are helping more patients receive their transplants.

Our Mission

The Icla da Silva Foundation saves lives of patients with diseases whose only cure is a bone marrow or cord blood transplant by providing emotional, logistical, and financial support to remove barriers to treatment.

A life-threatening disease, like blood cancer or sickle cell, is never expected. It presents an unthinkable challenge to the entire family. As a result, the Icla da Silva Foundation has always provided patients and their families with necessary emotional and logistical support. But for patients who demonstrate a financial need, we are putting a greater focus on enabling financial assistance.

IclaCares – Removing Barriers

Even after a matching bone marrow donor is found, there are many costs associated with a transplant that aren’t covered by insurance. For many patients, transplants and treatments are not available close to home. Through our IclaCares program, we are helping more patients afford expenses like transportation to a specialty medical center, housing, and even family meals while a child is in treatment.

We are also assisting with caretaker expenses. A caretaker is required by most transplant teams but rarely covered by insurance providers.

⇒ We are making it easier for more patients to receive their transplants.

You can help us support more patients in need. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation using the button below. Thank you!


Are you a patient scheduled to receive a bone marrow transplant? Are you in need of support? Please click our patient registration and submit a request.


Together we are helping more patients and saving more lives.


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Do You Remember Alfredo?

Even though a donor hasn’t been found, Alfredo is still smiling.

He is the little boy from Chicago with a rare blood disorder. We have been helping him search for a matching blood stem cell donor.

He has been searching the registry for 5 years.

We recently ran a Facebook campaign about Alfredo and many people expressed an interest in helping.

Almost 200 people signed up online to become potential donors.

Although he still hasn’t found a matching donor, Alfredo seems to be doing OK. He was excited to go back to school, he started the 4th grade in September.

Would you be interested in helping us support more patients like Alfredo? Even the smallest donation will help blood cancer patients during their search and treatment.

Your gift gives patients and their families more hope for a positive outcome. It allows them to focus on treatment rather than bills.

Please support the Icla da Silva Foundation and our mission to save more lives.



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Saving Lives for 30 Years

The Icla da Silva Foundation has been providing logistical, emotional, and financial support to patients with blood cancer and sickle cell disease for thirty years.

For searching patients, we encourage you to fill out the Patient Registration Form and request an application for support.

For visitors, your donation will help us support more patients in need of a bone marrow transplant. Please consider a financial gift to support our life-saving mission.

Click here to register as a searching patient

Click here to make a financial contribution

Click here to include yourself as a potential bone marrow donor

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