Friends of Khaliah-Shay Rapozo accepting donations

Friends and family members of 20-year-old Khaliah-Shay Kaulana Rapozo of Lihu‘e are asking for donations to help defray the cost of treatment while she travels to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, according to a news release.

She is the daughter of Curtis Rapozo and Valerie Gallardo and was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia at the age of two, according to the release. Chemotherapy and radiation treatments were unsuccessful causing two relapses — once at age 7 and again at 10.

In April 2002, Khaliah underwent a cord-blood transplant at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, but is still battling complications from the transplant, the release states.

“Although in remission from leukemia, she suffers from graft-versus-host disease, in which the donor cells attack the tissues. Tests have confirmed that active GVHD is affecting Khaliah in her gut, lungs and joints and is also causing persistent chronic skin conditions,” the release states. “Anti-rejection medications and steroids have been a part of the treatment to stabilize her condition, yet prolonged use of these steroids has resulted in a recent diagnosis of uncontrolled diabetes. Khaliah struggles daily with this debilitating disease.”

Having exhausted other treatment options to a degree more than her body can tolerate, Khaliah’s family has decided to take a different avenue for her long-term care by returning to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

Contributions will be used to defray any medical and travel expenses scheduled for the week of Aug. 26.

Donations are being accepted at any Bank of Hawai‘i Branch, or mail a check made out to Friends of Khaliah-Shay Rapozo, P.O. Box 1852, Lihu‘e, HI 96766.

For additional information, call 651-3333.

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