Anthony suffered bleeding problems from birth and was plagued by bruises and excessive bleeding for the first seven years of his life. At the age of six, Anthony was finally diagnosed with Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome. This condition compromises the immune system; the platelets are smaller than usual causing the spleen to destroy them at an increased rate. By the age of seven his spleen was removed. Anthony also struggled with chronic ear and sinus infections, eczema and skin pigment breakdown as well as arthritis throughout his body.
Children with Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome often develop leukemia or lymphoma, due to the weakened immune system. Anthony’s only hope of survival would then be a bone marrow transplant. In 1999, his parents made a decision to move to Gainesville, Florida to provide Anthony a healthier living environment and to be close to Shands Children’s Hospital at the University of Florida. After many tests, UF physicians discovered the start of B cell lymphoma in his immune system. Anthony went through three months of cancer treatments for the lymphoma. A bone marrow transplant became inevitable.
On the day Anthony’s parents drove him to Shands Children’s Hospital to receive the bone marrow transplant, a double rainbow appeared in the sky. They drove through the rainbow, and knew it was a sign of a new beginning. The bone marrow transplant was successful, and Anthony is enjoying life today like never before!