Local Children Battle Kawasaki Disease

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SACRAMENTO –

19 out of 100,000 American children between birth and age five will get Kawasaki’s disease. So what is the likelihood that the mothers of three children diagnosed with this disease live in the Sacramento region and work at the same hospital?

These mothers don’t believe there’s a common denominator to blame for their children getting Kawasaki’s disease. They just believe there’s lack of awareness about it. So they’re on a mission to share their story and maybe even help save lives.

Kawasaki’s disease nearly killed 5-year old Levi and 15-month old Jacqueline.

“She wasn’t eating drinking, she became lifeless,” said Leticia DeGarcia, Jacqueline’s mother.

“Every time I look at him I see a little boy in the ICU who they told me is maybe not going to make it,” said Dana Aleman, Levi’s mother.

Certified phlebotomists, Dana Aleman and Leticia DeGracia explain the disease is a rare condition that causes inflammation of the blood vessels in the body. It acts as if the body is on fire from the inside out and it symptoms are just as scary.

“She had patches of redness  on her chin, her cheeks, her chest. She got swollen lips like really swollen with blisters in the inside and her tongue was swollen and slightly red,” DeGarcia said.

“They can get aneurysms, they can have heart attack,” Aleman said.

The treatment is also complicated. It takes 2,000 blood donors to create one dose of treatment.

“Inside of your blood you have something called immunoglobulin and each person has a small amount of it. For that reason it takes two thousand blood donors to create enough of the product to save a child’s life,” Aleman said.

Now these mothers are raising awareness together in the hope of saving someone else’s child.

“Thankfully, the other mothers who’ve been through this Kawasaki’s disease with their children are just as eager to help as I am,” said Aleman.

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  • Dana Aleman

    If anyone has any questions about KD a great resource is The Kawasaki’s Disease Foundation at KDFoundation.org they can also be found in Facebook.