At only 7 years old, Isabella began to complain about having back pains. Unable to run and play with her friends, or even walk at times, her mother decided it was time to visit an orthopedist. After several blood tests and an MRI, it was determined that Isabella had leukemia. When treatment did not go as expected, her oncologist in Medellin, Colombia referred the case to Dr. Guillermo De Angulo, pediatric hematology-oncologist at Nicklaus Children's Hospital.
“Unfortunately in Colombia, she was unable to enter remission, and what we wanted to try to avoid is... you know, hit the nail with the bigger hammer. We've noticed that that doesn't always work, so I wanted us to give her something that was only going to attack her leukemic cells – and we were able to put her into remission two weeks into this monoclonal antibody,” said Dr. De Angulo.
Today, Isabella is a happy, curious and charismatic girl who enjoys reading and writing. She is currently writing a book called “Mi Vida” (My Life), for children who have or had leukemia.
“Five years ago, she most likely would not have survived this leukemia if it weren't for the fact that we were able to offer her a monoclonal antibody, or a targeted form of therapy. So for me, I think it's a real blessing to be able to do what I do. I love what I do and I take it very seriously. If you as a parent are entrusting your child, and you're coming from across the globe to try to see if I can put your child into remission so that we can take the next step, I take that very seriously,” explained Dr. De Angulo.