Ajani was just 2 years old when he was diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia. He needed an umbilical cord blood transplant to treat his life-threatening disease.
Unfortunately, his insurance company did not cover the cost to find a suitably matched cord blood unit. His mother Risa — a single mother — had to quit her job to care for him and could not afford the uncovered medical expenses.
Be The Match® (which is operated by the National Marrow Donor Program®) was there to help. Ajani’s transplant center requested search assistance funds to cover the testing needed to select the best cord blood unit, the urgent testing was completed, a cord blood unit was requested and Ajani had the transplant he needed.
During Ajani’s post-transplant hospital stay, Risa stayed in the hospital room to help care for her son. The family’s only income came from social security checks, and with ongoing bills to pay back home, Risa struggled to pay for food and parking. We were able to offer transplant support assistance funds to help the young family cover these and other transplant-associated bills. The funds also helped Risa afford an apartment near the transplant center when Ajani was discharged.
Successful transplant, happy boy
At 4 years old, Ajani is happy and excited about starting pre-school. His successful transplant was due in part to the significant support he received from our patient assistance programs. The grants helped Ajani get the cord blood unit he needed without delay, despite having inadequate insurance coverage. And they helped Risa pay for necessary expenses during the critical post-transplant period.
When her son was born, Risa didn’t realize how appropriate his name would become: Ajani is an African name meaning “he who wins the struggle.”
How you can help
Unfortunately, there are many children and other patients like Ajani whose families struggle to pay for transplant-related expenses not covered by insurance. With your financial contribution, we can help more patients like Ajani — contribute now.