During his three month stay in the NICU, Ivan went through two surgeries, the first to save his life yet again as parts of his intestines had died off due to lack of blood supply caused by the trauma of his birth. The second, several months later to reconnect the intestines yet again. He went thru numerous tests, blood transfusions, ventilator support, a collapsed lung, kidney failure, liver damage, heart issues, as well as battling infections. Ivan fought. People prayed. God answered. Above all those challenges, the most serious was and still is substantial brain bleeds, which can severely limit Ivan’s quality of life for a lifetime.
As a family we have researched and tried numerous traditional and non-traditional approaches to help this little Warrior. With the suggestion of his Neurologist we started looking into stem cell therapy, which shows promising results in children with neurological struggles. Ivan attended his first treatment on December 13th, the day after his 1st birthday. Stem cells are from donated cord blood and are proving to be life altering in every way. Within hours of this first treatment we were able to notice incredible results, Ivan started using his hands more, opening his palms and reaching for things.
Unfortunately, one treatment for Ivan is not enough. As advised by his Doctor, to see full benefits and potential of the treatment, it is necessary to repeat infusions every three months during his first three years of life. As research shows the first three years are crucial for brain development, especially for children with neurological impairments. This is the time for children when their brains create pathways to learn every day skills. For Ivan, stem cells will provide bridges to bypass affected areas of the brain to help him learn to talk, walk, see, and hear.
Our Family’s sole desire is to give this amazing little baby every possible chance to live strong, well and happy. To give Ivan every chance and opportunity that we possibly can. We also desire to show other families who are going thru similar circumstances that there IS hope. That prayer works, God listens and and that all children are a precious gift from above. We desire to help others find that hope and possibly some answers. To be an example to NEVER give up, pray unceasingly and stand strong, even when the odds are against you. Speak life always!
We have added links for the stem cell research and Drs that are working tirelessly to change lives in such a powerful way.
Thank you for standing with us as we continue on this journey with Ivan….Ivan the Great!
- Kelly Schwarz
- Olga Marcelo
- Jayme Pfannes
- Elena Mirosnicenco
- KEVIN SEARS
Organizer and beneficiary
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