Bridgeport mother faces challenges ahead of son's bone marrow transplant surgery

His doctors say finding a donor was like winning the Powerball for a person with this condition.

News 12 Staff

May 14, 2023, 4:43 PM

Updated 339 days ago

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A single mother in Bridgeport is filled with anxiety this Mother's Day as she faces mounting challenges related to her son's rare condition.
Janelle Alvarez says her family received a ray of hope recently when a bone marrow donor became available for her 14-year-old son Isiah, who suffers from aplastic anemia - a potentially terminal condition in which the body stops producing enough new blood cells.
His doctors say finding a donor was like winning the Powerball for a person with this condition.
"He's very fortunate to have a donor come up. It's just very short notice,” she said.
While Isiah is set to receive the procedure on June 22, there is a hitch. Isiah and Janelle have to go to Boston Children's Hospital for the surgery, where he would remain for up to six months of in-patient treatment. They would then also need to live in the immediate area for about two years afterward so he can receive follow up treatments.
Alvarez told News 12 that the only way she could do that would be to get a portable Section 8 voucher on an emergency basis so she could get an apartment near the medical center — but she says her chances of getting such a voucher are slim.
“I'm worried because I have like less than 30 days. I don't know who to speak to,” she said. “My Mother's Day wish is to be able to be close to my son while he's receiving care. He's fighting for his life."
State Sen. Herron Gaston says he can't make any promises, but he is going to try and help Janelle get the voucher.
A GoFundMe page has also been created to help Alvarez.


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