In October, 1998, my twenty-one-year-old niece, Carmen Rijos, was diagnosed as having Scleroderma, a disease that causes a persistent hardening of the body's own tissue - skin, lungs, digestive tract, heart, kidneys, muscles, and nerves.
The disease predominantly affects women in their 30's and 40's; however, cases have been diagnosed in very young children and in older adults. Although doctors and researchers find many aspects of the disease a mystery, those at Virginia Mason Research Center in Seattle, Washington have been very successful in performing on patients with Scleroderma an experimental treatment called Stem Cell Transplant.
Although the Virginia Mason Research Center believes that Carmen is an excellent candidate for this treatment, her family's insurance does not cover the expense of the procedure which costs approximately $250,000. Without the procedure, Carmen has a maximum life expectancy of five years and will become paralyzed during this short period of time.
The Carmen Rijos Private Foundation was established not only to raise the necessary funds for Carmen's Stem Cell Transplant but also to help other victims of this devastating illness. For this reason, we hope that you and other members of the community will join together in this cooperative philanthropic effort.
With your tax deductible contribution to the Carmen Rijos Private Foundation you will be making a personal commitment toward improving Carmen's chance at life, and you will be participating in making her recovery a reality. In addition, you will be helping other victims who will benefit from the results of this research.
Your generosity and support is greatly appreciated by Carmen, her family, and the outstanding staff of doctors and researchers at Virginia Mason Research Center.
|Piedad Nicolas, Director
Carmen Rijos Private Foundation
335 Locust Avenue
Port Chester NY 10573
(Story posted 3-1-00)
New email address needed 09-06-06 SLE
Carmen's Old Email Prefix: CLRIJOS
Story Artist: Shelley Ensz
Stem Cell Transplants for Scleroderma
SCLERO.ORG is the world's leading nonprofit for trustworthy research, support, education and awareness for scleroderma and related illnesses. We are a 501(c)(3) U.S.-based public charitable foundation, established in 2002. Meet Our Team. Donations may also be mailed to: