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After no donor match, Naples boy overcoming rare bone marrow disorder

A boy from Naples is getting a second chance at life.

Grae Salerno’s son, Dalton, has aplastic anemia. It is a problem one Lee Health doctor describes as when the bone marrow stops working. The patient does not have enough blood cells and suffers medical consequences.

Due to Dalton having a rare case, no bone marrow donors were available. His mother took a risk and donated her own as a half match.

Grae said the transplant appears to have worked. Her son’s ANC count was at zero before the procedure. It went to 110, then 380; and as of Tuesday, 3,050.

“We’re going through the most difficult time of my life,” Grae said. “We couldn’t have asked for a better outcome at this point.”

Though nobody in Southwest Florida was a match, she said the outpouring of support has been overwhelming.

“His spirits are getting better,” Grae said. “Every day, he’s getting more strength.”

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Grae and Dalton will be in St. Petersburg as his recovery continues for the next two months. Here is an address to mail letters or cards for support: Cornerstone United Methodist Church 8200 Immokalee Rd Naples, FL, 34119.

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