Photo: Yarelis Bonilla needs a bone marrow transplate, but her perfect-match sister's visa is being denied
The life of a 5-year-old with a very rare form of leukemia is on the line as a family frantically tries to get a visa for her sister, a perfect bone marrow match.
Though twice-denied, the family of Yarelis Bonila continues to try to convince the U.S.’s Salvadoran embassy to grant her older sister, 7-year-old Gisselle, permission to enter the U.S.
Yarelis, a resident of Elizabeth, NJ, was diagnosed with the extremely rare and very dangerous acute lymphocytic leukemia, and her doctors believe her best chance for survival is a bone marrow transplant from Gisselle.
The family’s lawyer, Marian Habib, told New Jersey’s Star-Ledger, ‘We’re sure that, once the government has all the facts, it will recognize the seriousness of the situation.’
Keeping Gisselle from getting the visa is the fear officials have that she won’t return to El Salvador after the transplant, but Habib says she is getting a petition ready that will hopefully convince the U.S. embassy in El Salvador that they have nothing to worry about because she will return.
The most recent review of the visa application came by the urging of U.S. Sen. Menendez (D-NJ), but it was still denied.
Right now, Habib says, ‘It’s a race against time.’