Three-year-old Dan Nevo has been battling for his life for almost four months now. The child, nicknamed Dan-Dan, suffers from a rare type of leukemia and is in need of an urgent bone marrow transplant to save his life.
A suitable donor for Dan-Dan could not be found in global bone marrow banks or in Israel Health Support Organization Ezer Mizion's bank. On Wednesday, Ezer Mizion will be holding a bone marrow drive in which they hope to find a match for Dan-Dan.
The child, who lives in Ramat Hasharon with his mother Meirav, suffers from a very rare type of Leukemia, that only three other patients in the world share. Dan-Dan's tissue classification is also considered rare, with one of its components existing in only 2% of the population.
"He's just a unique boy," his mother says with a smile.
Meirav said that since the summertime her son has suffered from a number of viruses that have not completely subsided. "The doctor though at first that is was the kissing disease (infectious mononucleosis).
"He was fatigued, with swollen glands and complained that his legs hurt. He had a blood test done and they found out that he has cancerous cells. That same day we were sent to Sheba Medical Center and were told that it was Leukemia."
'He's just a unique boy'. Three-year-old Dan-Dan Nevo
Dan-Dan underwent chemotherapy, which weakened his immune system and led to his being quarantined for a long period. The child is home now, and doing better.
"His body is clean now after the chemotherapy, but there are high chances that it will return, so his only option is a bone marrow transplant and not chemotherapy, and we have a window of opportunity to do this right now when Dan-Dan is as strong as possible."
Dreams of seeing snow at Mt. HermonHow do you tell a three-year-old child that he is sick and has to be quarantined? Meirav says it's possible. "He's a very bright boy and speaks very politely. We explained to him that his disease is called leukemia and that the factory in his body that creates cells that fight viruses is broken and that the doctors know how to fix it.
"He's an amazing boy who always finds friends in the hospital and in the department. He really loves the clowns in the hospital and the volunteers that come and play with the children. When we are at home he sometimes asks to go back to play with the clowns."
Dan-Dan loves children's performer Yuval Hamebulbal and has already met him four times in the hospital. His dream is to travel to the Sea of Galilee and see snow on Mount Hermon when he gets better.
The Ezer Mizion organization will hold a national bone marrow donor drive on Wednesday, January 21. Dan-Dan and six-year-old Amit Kadosh, who also suffers from leukemia, have been chosen to lead the campaign under the slogan, "Imagine if these were your children…"
The drive will include blood sample collections and financial contribution to fund the tests. The cost of a blood sample examination stands at NIS 180 ($47). For more information on the drive, visit http://www.ezermizion.org/.
A financial contribution of NIS 10 can be made by sending a text message with the number 10 to the number 2747 (from within Israel), or calling the number 1800-236-236 to make a larger donation.