Hundreds Rally Behind 1 Year Old Jewish Boy in Need of Stem Cell Transplant
A rare immune disorder has consumed the life of one young Jewish boy on New York’s Upper West Side, and now his parents are asking friends, family, and the public to help cover the cost of the skyrocketing medical bills.
Little Idan Zablocki was diagnosed with Hyper IgM in his first year of life. The disease affects only two in a million and makes it nearly lethal to be exposed to germs—something hard to avoid in New York City.
“There’s pros and cons,” Idan’s mother, Amanda, told the New York Daily News about living in New York City. “You’re very close to the hospital and your pediatrician. But we can’t take him on the train, we can’t take him on the bus. I never touch the subway pole, and we have to Lysol everything.”
Idan’s father, Akiva, who is from Israel and who had his own brush with death when he had a brain tumor removed that left one side of his face paralyzed, now stays at home and watches the boy while Amanda works.
Adding to the fact the one parent is unable to earn an income is that Idan needs a stem cell transplant to have the best chance at a long, healthy life, a surgery that comes with a 10% to 15% mortality rate—and costs a lot of money.
“The longer you wait, the risk involved in not transplanting sooner is getting PCP, which can be fatal too,” Amanda told the Daily News. To have his surgery while young, healthy, infection-free, offers Idan the greatest chance of recovery.
His parents are currently trying to raise $250,000 for Idan’s treatment, including trips to experts across the globe, lost wages, and relocating expenses, and have already received over $90,000 in donations from over 700 people, many from strangers.
“We literally sent the page out to a dozen friends (on Facebook),” Akiva told the Daily News. “Then people were sharing it. The majority of donations are from strangers, they’re coming in from around the world. We don’t feel alone anymore.”
Throughout, the Zablockis have said their love for each other and for their son has kept them strong, and Akiva’s dealings with doctors for his brain tumor has given them wisdom to ask for the best.
“Idan is just remarkable,” Amanda said. “His spirit and his strength — he has no intention of letting this get him down. It’s given us so much strength and hope.”