Antonio R .
Hospital: Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI
Antonio is a happy 10-year-old who loves toy cars, Legos® and basketball. When he was 6, he was diagnosed with severe aplastic anemia, an acquired disease where the immune system attacks the bone marrow. In 2010, he was admitted to Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin in Milwaukee to receive a life-saving bone marrow transplant. Because a suitable bone marrow match wasn’t found, he received an umbilical cord blood transplant. Unfortunately, his body rejected the transplant. Two months later, after a second round of chemo and radiation therapy, a second transplant was successful and Antonio went home after recovering 90 days in the hospital. The family was fortunate to qualify for Medicaid through the Katie Beckett waiver, which enables severely disabled children and adults to be cared for at home. Medicaid covered the co-pays for medical appointments, mileage for travel to appointments and the cost of medication. Today, his family is committed to raising awareness of the need for bone marrow donors.