Give Back With Sile!!

Hi there! My name is Sile and I have been living with GIST, or stomach cancer, for the past 14 years. On February 28, 2018, I turned 28. This marked my half-life anniversary with my diagnosis and at this point I would like to give back. On my birthday I ask my friends to help me support organizations and support structures that have really impacted my cancer journey over the years. 

I would like to share with you the story of my first hospital stay and how an organization called ChildLife helped to make it a positive experience. 

It had been less than a week after my first surgery, where my surgeon removed 2/3 of my stomach and reconstructed my internal gastro-intestinal system to remove the cancer. The surgery and diagnosis came unexpectedly. Prior to this, I had been diagnosed with anemia and h.Pylori -- a bacteria that causes ulcers. After going in for a endoscopy to ensure that my ulcers were gone, my doctor found tremendous growths in my stomach. The biopsy revealed that the tumors were malignant and cancerous. I immediately had surgery.

During my recovery, I wandered into the Play Room on the Pediatric Cancer floor to discover a woman from Childlife setting up to paint a large window. I asked her if I could help. She said, "Please!" I spent the afternoon painting the Play Room, and then my own hospital room with bright colors and beautiful images. All the nurses and doctors who came into the room after immediately smiled to see such vibrant colors in my hospital room. That week, all of the patients on the floor had access to paint to be able to paint and brighten their own rooms.

Not only did ChildLife make cancer less scary for me, it provided me with support to be able to continuously advocate for myself. During high school, I had a team cheering for me to implement an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) and mentorship on how to write about my experience for my college essay. When I was accepted into NYU, I knew that it had been a village of people who helped me. I always knew that living a healthy and happy life was the best way for me to show my appreciation to those around me.

Fourteen years later, I am thriving. I am currently living in Berkeley, California, and have been working in the technology sector for the past 3.5 years. I am planning on traveling to Japan in May and Burning Man for the second time at the end of August.

I wish for all pediatric cancer patients to have the opportunities and support that I did growing up. For my 28th birthday, I am launching this gofund me to raise funds for ChildLife, as well as to purchase physical items for the UCSF Pediatric Cancer Unit to brighten the lives of current patients.

Your generosity and support have given me the opportunity to give back to a community that means so much to me. For every dollar donated, I will match the donation by 25%. I hope you will help me in supporting this cause!

As I reflect on my half-life anniversary, I am full of gratitude, love, and appreciation for all the individuals who have supported me in this process. What a journey it has been.
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    • $100 
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    • $200 
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    • $450 
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  • Jenny Li 
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Sile Bao 
Berkeley, CA
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