When her energetic and athletic 13-year-old son Daniel began to complain about being tired and lethargic more than usual, Claudia began to monitor him closely. Once she discovered he had a 105 degree fever, she immediately took Daniel to his pediatrician for a checkup.
After some bloodwork and an analysis, Claudia was given the news that she needed to take Daniel to Nicklaus Children’s Hospital immediately. The blood work confirmed that her youngest son had acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a type of cancer in which the bone marrow makes a large number of abnormal blood cells. As a mother, this was not easy news to receive. But she made it clear to her son that they will get through this as a family and that they wouldn’t question why they were being challenged.
Daniel underwent many rounds of chemotherapy at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, eventually requiring a bone marrow transplant led by the Nicklaus Children’s Blood and Marrow Transplant Program. When it was time for the transplant, Daniel was matched with a donor who eventually became his pen pal. Fast forward two years post-transplant at a fundraising event for Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, Daniel and his family were surprised by the young man from Frankfurt, Germany, who performed a selfless act to save their young boy.
“I don’t have words to describe what tonight means to our family,” said Claudia after the encounter. “I’m so happy to have both of my sons here with me – well now all three [including Lukas],” she exclaimed.
Help more kids like Daniel get the care they need for a healthy future. Make a one-time or recurring gift today!