Bennett Mahala

First post: Nov 29, 2018 Latest post: Nov 20, 2019
Welcome to Bennett's CaringBridge website.  We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. 

Bennett recently turned 8-years-old and has been diagnosed with a severe form of acquired Aplastic Anemia.  This rare diagnosis is a result of Bennett contracting an unknown virus that his immune system couldn't fight.  This virus "wreaked havoc" on his bone marrow, which has halted his production of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. 

Bennett's case of Aplastic Anemia is severe, as he has been receiving regular transfusions of blood products since September 2018.  The only curative treatment for this disorder is a bone marrow transplant.  Bennett's older brothers were tested to be donors, but unfortunately, they are not a match.  Bennett is currently waiting to receive a Bone Marrow Transplant from a 3rd party donor.  It has been decided that Bennett will have his transplant at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and they are hopeful that his  transplant will occur in January of 2019.  Bennett's hospitalization will last for 2-4 months, including a stay at the Ronald McDonald House in Philadelphia as he will need to be nearby CHOP.  Before the bone marrow transplant can take place, Bennett needs to receive chemotherapy.  Chemotherapy will prepare his body to accept new cells, by "making space" in the bone marrow for new stem cells.  Chemotherapy will also suppress his immune system so that his body can accept the donor's stem cells.

We are asking for prayers and thoughts for Bennett, as this is a lot for an 8-year-old boy to endure (frequent and unpleasant medical procedures, lengthy hospital stay away from his home, seclusion from friends his age, & not being able to return to school until the next school year).  Bennett is also at high risk during this season of bacterial and viral illnesses and has been hospitalized multiple times for fevers.  We ask for prayers for his parents (John Paul & Sarah) and brothers (Caleb, age 19 & James, age 15), as they have been dealing with  much worry and stress since his symptoms first became apparent.  Their close family life has been and will be disrupted.

Please stay tuned as 'ways to help' will be posted soon.  Right now we just ask for Bennett and his family to be in your thoughts and prayers.  We appreciate your support and words of encouragement.  Sarah and John Paul will be making subsequent journal entries to keep all updated.  Thank you so much for visiting.

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