11-Year-Old Samuel Needs a Bone Marrow Transplant

The search is on to find a life-saving blood stem cell donor who matches his Brazilian Heritage.
NEW YORK - Aug. 11, 2022 - PRLog -- Samuel is an 11-year-old boy from Astoria, Queens living with a low platelet count.

Low platelets are caused by a genetic mutation. A low count is less than 150,000 platelets per microliter. Sammy's count is usually about 90,000.

In April 2020, Sammy was tired and suffered from a fever. His mom was nervous and concerned about covid, so she brought him to the hospital. He did not have covid. They diagnosed strep throat and prescribed antibiotics, but he didn't get better.

His pediatrician diagnosed mononucleosis and prescribed more antibiotics. It didn't help.

Sammy's platelet count had gone down to 25,000.

The Healthcare Journey Begins
Samuel's mom Alessandra took him to five different hospitals' all prominent and well respected. She even called her personal doctor in Brazil.

They reported abnormalities in his blood, but none of the findings were conclusive. Bone marrow failure was suggested as the diagnosis.

The doctors finally recommended a bone marrow transplant.

Searching for a Donor
Their next step is to find a matching bone marrow donor. The national registry was searched, but there is no match for Sammy.

Not yet.

Samuel's Brazilian heritage lowers the chances of finding a matching donor. There are simply fewer registered donors who would potentially match.

The Icla da Silva Foundation
Alessandra remembered the Icla da Silva Foundation as an organization that helps to remove barriers for patients who need a bone marrow or cord blood transplant.

She contacted the President, Airam da Silva. He listened to her story, understood the challenges, and answered her questions. He recommended strategies to add potential donors and introduced her to the team at Be the Match.

Samuel's search for a matching donor began over the July 4th weekend.

There is no matching donor yet.

How is Samuel?
His recent platelet count was down to 14,000. He is constantly tired and he bruises easily. Alessandra says, "it's obvious when his platelets are low, he gets petechiae." These are red marks all over his body, which indicate he is bleeding into his skin.

Alessandra remains strong, "we will get through this, we will find a donor."

You may be a match. Please join the national registry to become a potential donor for a searching patient. You need to be between the ages of 18-40, in good health, and willing to donate to any patient in need.  Click the link below or text: Swab4Sammy to: 61474 and request a swab kit be mailed to your home.


Bret Itskowitch
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