Sickle cell anemia patient cured thanks to her little sister

Thursday, June 11, 2015
Sickle cell anemia patient cured thanks to her little sister
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AJ Ross has the sweet story from Hackensack.

NEW YORK -- It was a selfless act by a little sister to save her big sister from a debilitating disease.

"A lot of people think they're twins, they've always been very attached," said their mother, Tosin Adegboyega.

Sisters Elizabeth and Esther Adegboyega are nearly inseparable but a recent act has made them even closer.

"I shared my blood with her," said Esther.

"I feel better and my sister helped me by giving her blood to me," said Elizabeth.

Born with sickle cell anemia, Elizabeth's only chance for a cure was a bone marrow transplant from her little sister Esther.

So their family consulted with pediatricians at Hackensack Medical Center where an ongoing stem cell study is being performed.

"Sickle cell disease is a lifelong chronic illness that other than bone marrow transplant there is no cure for," said Dr. Jennifer Krajewski. "We've been doing transplants particularly from siblings for about 20 years."

Despite the overwhelming success of the study on a variety of patients to date, it wasn't an easy decision for the girl's mother, who says she relied on faith.

"I was scared of what could possibly happen what if she goes in and everything just goes wrong," said Tosin. "I can leave my phone at home now, that's given me my life back, and given Elizabeth a second chance and that I can never forget."

Now considered completely cured, Elizabeth is looking forward to embarking on a new chapter in life with her little sister of course by her side.

"What do you want to say to all the doctors and staff here?," we asked them. "Thank you...for making us feel better," they said.