As Kauai baby battles aggressive disease, loved ones hold out hope for bone marrow match

Seeley Borges is just 7 weeks old, but she’s already in the fight of her life.
Published: Nov. 18, 2021 at 3:26 PM HST|Updated: Nov. 19, 2021 at 7:19 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Seeley Borges is just 7 weeks old, but she’s already in the fight of her life.

The Kauai infant is battling acute myeloid leukemia, a type of blood cancer. Her family is hoping a bone marrow donor will emerge and help save her life.

Seeley’s mother Hayley said it all started with a fever about a month ago.

Seeley was eventually medevaced to Kapiolani Medical Center where she has already completed her first round of chemotherapy.

“Ten days of intensive chemo. She just started to lose her hair now. She took it really well, such a champ,” Hayley Borges said. “I pray every day that she’s cured and she can come home and I get a chance to be her mom outside of the hospital.”

Family members cherish Seeley’s love for life and playful nature.

“She’s a ham. She loves the camera. She’s learned that if she makes fake crying sounds that the aunties and nurses here will rush to her room and pick her up even if I’m not here,” Borges said.

The journey to this point has been an emotional nightmare for the family. Mother Hayley for the most part has been on hospital duty on Oahu, while dad works. Their 7-year-old daughter Ainsley is staying on Kauai with family.

“Your heart can’t be in two places and the mom guilt of when I’m here, I worry about my older one and when I’m with her, I feel guilty for not being here. And both girls don’t deserve a half mom,” Borges said.

Ainsley has been FaceTiming her little sister often. Hayley says her oldest daughter has given her so much strength during this difficult time.

“She’s the one telling me, ‘We got to do it. We got to save her’. She said, ‘You know, it’s just a little while without her so we can have her our whole lives.’”

Seeley’s doctors say she will need to undergo at least three more rounds of chemo. On top of that, she’ll also need a bone marrow transplant.

The family says they are planning to hold a bone marrow drive to find a donor. They’re hoping more local people will sign up.

Click here to join the online registry.

“You know, in Hawaii we’re so mixed. It’s hard. The registry is padded with primarily white donors so with that, finding a match is so difficult. When we’re all chop suey it’s hard,” Borges said. “It’s our hope that people will feel the need to register and we can find a perfect match.”

If you would like to help the family with medical expenses, a GoFundMe account has also been set up. Click here to view it.

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