A stem cell transplant saved my son’s life

Habib and mom

Lariba Abu is a respiratory care practitioner at Children’s. Her 14-year-old son Habib Wasai received a life-saving stem cell transplant thanks to his brother’s selfless donation last fall. Read her story below and her request to you now that her son is healthy and pain-free.

My son Habib was born with sickle cell disease and has lived with the excruciating pain of it all his life. In July of 2012, I  decided to get our whole family typed to see if someone was a  match to donate bone marrow to him. Two days after we were typed, I received a call from one of the wonderful doctors at Children’s Medical Center that forever changed our lives.

A stem cell donor close to home

Habib and James

James, 23, donated his stem cells to his younger brother Habib. Plenty of kids are not as fortunate to have a family member be their match and require a matching donation from a stranger.

We were told that Habib’s older brother, James, who is now 23, was a match. We met with the transplant team to discuss the procedure and pave the way for the transplant. After the meeting, I knew right away that we were ready to get started. Being an employee of the best children’s hospital with insight as to the great work they do for children every day, I was very comfortable with my decision.

On September 7, 2012, the stem cell transplant procedure took place at Children’s, and on October 26, we were on our way home from the hospital. My son is doing well now and is back in school. No mother wants to see her child hurting every day. I was always constantly worried about Habib, especially when he went to school, wondering if he would have a pain crisis.

Sign up to be the match, you could save a child’s life

Earlier this month, Children’s Medical Center hosted its annual Be The Match Donor Registry Drive on Valentine’s Day at the Dallas and Legacy campuses. I was so happy to learn that 158 people joined the Registry this year.

You, too, could save a life, just like Habib’s brother, James, did, by going to marrow.org and ordering a donor kit. Children’s is covering the cost of the kit through the month of February when you use the promo code “childrens” when ordering.

This is your opportunity to add your name to the Registry to help children like my son overcome a life-threatening disease. It will only take a few minutes of your time to get your cheek swabbed, but remember, those few minutes could turn into years of healthy living for a child in desperate need of a bone marrow transplant.

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2 Responses to A stem cell transplant saved my son’s life

  1. Mekonen February 28, 2013 at 11:18 pm #

    Lariba, nice to hear that Habib is now getting well and back to school.

  2. Cristy Ecton February 27, 2013 at 11:28 am #

    Lariba, thanks so much for sharing your family’s story. And Curtis, thanks for advocating for blood stem cell transplant patients!

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