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Family of one-year-old cancer survivor raises awareness

By Shanila Kabir

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    HONOLULU (KITV) — Hayley Borges said she qualified as a half-match for her daughter who needed a bone marrow transplant. She said Seeley Borges is in remission and they want to raise awareness for childhood cancer in the islands.

“It’s not only so much nationalities that make up being a match but a bunch of things need to line up in order for you to be a donor. We’re so lucky to be able to be a half-match, there’s a lot of people that don’t have that as an option and the only option is finding a donor. We want to help others who truly need a match that don’t have the option we did to save Seeley,” said Hayley Borges.

Seeley was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia and lived in the hospital until she was 10-months-old. She received chemotherapy at Kapiolani Medical Center before their family was advised to take Seeley to Seattle Children’s Hospital.

“HUGS” Hawaii provided financial support to the Borges family for airfare and food.

“Cancer is a majority of the children’s illness. A lot of them like Seeley have thankfully recovered and sadly, we’ve had some HUGS children who have passed in the years,” said Alex Wereszczynskij, development director, “HUGS” Hawaii.

Officials at the Hawaii Children’s Cancer Foundation said it is common for many children here to go to the mainland for cancer treatment and issues related to bone marrow transplants.

“Hawaii definitely has its challenges especially for folks like the Borges ohana that live on the neighbor islands. It’s really hard having to travel to receive care. It’s not only expensive but also taxing on the family as a whole,” said Michelle Meredith, executive director, Hawaii Children Cancer Foundation.

Hayley Borges said she was thankful to see everyone come to cancer awareness event. She wants to use her daughter’s story to inspire others.

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Article Topic Follows: CNN - Regional

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