Rina and Patrick are my inspiration and 2 of “A Rae of Hope” special heroes!
I met Rina 2 years ago at Park Village Elementary School, where I was speaking and sharing my story with the school. Her principal introduced the 2 of us and I began my special friendship with the amazing & “resilient Rina”. I joined her team at the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Walk and we have bowled with the Chargers together! Patrick is just as much of a hero as Rina is, even though he wasn’t sick like his sister, he saved her life!
Rina was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia on May 10, 2013. This is a rare & high risk form of ALL. Only 5% of ALL patients exhibit the Ph+ type. Due to the high risk nature of the disease, the option of a new immune system through a bone marrow transplant was immediately explored. On Sept 17, 2013, Rina underwent a bone marrow transplant after discovering that her only sibling, 3-yr old Patrick beat the 1 in 4 chance of being her perfect marrow match! “Powerful Patrick’s” cells allowed for an amazing recovery and gave her a second chance at life forever bonding the two siblings stronger than ever imagined. Rina is now thriving over one year in remission post-transplant. Rina, Patrick and their parents now pay it forward through their causes including the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS).