VIDEO: Families Plead for Guam Community to Help Save Lives of Kaila Garrido & Eugene Borja


Guam- The families of 16 year old Kaila Garrido and 37 year old Eugene Borja are asking for the community’s support to help save their lives and others.

The Bone Marrow Drive will be on Saturday, October 20th from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Agana Shopping Center. 


Read the Release About Kaila & Eugene Below

The family and friends of two people from Guam are uniting to save the lives of their loved ones. Both 16-year-old Kaila Garrido and 37-year-old Eugene Borja desperately need bone marrow transplants. Their changes of finding a match on Guam are high, and their families are reaching out to the island community to help save their lives.

A bone marrow drive for Kaila and Eugene is scheduled for Saturday, October 20, 2012 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Agana Shopping Center. Members of the community who register during the drive have an opportunity to help them and many other patients around the world who are searching for a match. It takes less than 10 minutes to register and do a simple, painless mouth cheek swab.

For more information, please contact Pram Sullivan at 483-6600 or email Victoria-Lola Leon Guerrero at Flyers with more information about Kaila and Eugene are attached to this email.

Kaila Garrido is a 16-year-old from Guam. She is the daughter of Michael and Kim Garrido. She was attending George Washington High School when she was diagnosed with severe aplastic anemia and needs a bone marrow transplant to survive. She is currently getting treatment at MD Anderson.

Eugene Borja, a thirty-seven-year old CHamoru, husband, and an active father of two, is the physical education teacher at Our Lady of Mount Carmel School, in Redwood City, CA. He is the son of a retired Army Sergeant Major, Robert C. Borja (Familian Daso) and Ann Naputi Borja (Familian Chalderon). Gene was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Although he is responding well to treatment, a bone marrow transplant is the best way to increase his chance of long-term survival.

Read An Update of Kaila By Her Mother, Kim

Kaila was born on Guam – January 24, 1996. She is a 16 year old student at George Washington High School at the time she was diagnosed with severe aplastic anemia in February 2012. This means – Kaila’s bone marrow stopped making enough blood cells (red cells, white cells or platelets) – so she gets very tired since she doesn’t have red blood cells to carry enough oxygen to all parts of the body, she is prone to infection or catching a common cold cause she doesn’t have white cells to fight off any kind of infection and if she gets cut, she doesn’t have the platelets to clot and stop the bleeding. Aplastic anemia is a rare disease; about 3 out of every 1 million people in the U.S. are diagnosed annually. Aplastic anemia is considered an immune disorder that causes ones body to start attacking itself.

Kaila attended Price Elementary and Agueda Johnson Middle School. She has participated in Track & Field and Cross Country. In addition, Kaila was always participating in Islandwide 3K and 5K runs/fundraisers.

Kaila has an older sister (Kaija) and two younger brothers (Jason and Javon). Her hobbies are just hanging out with family and friends. Her brothers are Raiders (part of Triple J Motors Guam National Youth Football Federation) so in her free time, Kaila can be found on the football field helping out the team. She volunteers at the concession stand, car washes and trash pick ups – whatever the fundraiser – she was always there helping out!

Overall, Kaila is a typical active 16-year old…so when she was diagnosed, the entire family was very shocked. Her uncle lives in Texas so we made arrangements to bring Kaila to MD Anderson Caner Center in Houston, Texas. This is the first time Kaila has ever been off-island.

In March, MD inserted a CVC line (or PICC line) which is a flexible tube inserted into a peripheral vein toward her heart to support the weekly platelet and blood transfusions. In May, HLA Type testing was also done on her siblings and unfortunately they were not a match to Kaila. So as we continue to wait for news about a non-related donor, Kaila started with Immunosupressive Treatment – a combination of ATG (Anti-thymocyte globulin) and cyclosporine. ATG is basically when some of Kaila’s blood is taken and injected into a horse, the horse blood “attacks” Kaila’s blood, then the horse blood “serum” is injected back into Kaila to suppress her immune system. ATG is administered for four day straight with side effect. This treatment is used to “re-set” or “re-boot” Kaila immune system to go back to normal. However, it’s been 6 months since the first round of ATG treatment and Kaila continues to be transfusion dependent so she is scheduled to repeat ATG on November 6, 2012.

Kaila was recently hospitalized (9/29 to 10/04) due to an infection and blood clots in her arm. Her PICC line had to be removed and we continue to monitor the blood clots in her arm. Kaila has to undergo another 14 days of IV antibiotic until 10/17 and thereafter a pill form continuation of antibiotic for another 14 days. We are glad she is out of the hospital and back to her normal self again.

As parents, the most important thing we can recommend to everyone is – just because you have annual physical’s done – have blood work done at the same time.