Reporting Christine Sloan
ELIZABETH, N.J. (CBSNewYork) - - Yarelis Bonilla, a 5-year-old girl from Elizabeth, N.J., is suffering from a severe form of leukemia. Doctors say that the only way Yarelis will survive is if she receives a bone marrow transplant from a perfect match. For Yarelis that perfect match is her sister, Giselle.
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Unfortunately, due to a complicated family matter, Giselle lives in El Salvador. She has been denied a visa to come to the United States on several occasions, and experts say that the transplant must be performed here.
Maria Bonilla, Yorelis’ mother, is begging for help.
“Please give a visa to my daughter, so she can help her little sister,” Bonilla told CBS 2′s Christine Sloan.
The Bonilla family’s heartbreaking plea has not fallen on deaf ears. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) has championed their cause, and is helping the family apply for a special humanitarian arrangement that would allow Giselle to travel to America to provide the much needed marrow to her little sister.
“The government’s role is to ultimately protect its citizen. And to preserve their life. In this instance, that happens to mean having this young girl get her sister here to give her a transplant is something we should be able to do.” Said Menendez.
When asked how the constant trips to the hospital make her feel, she answers,”not good” and that what she really wants is for,”[Giselle] to come here and play [with] me.”
The Bonilla family is hoping that the State Department will have a change of heart and help save Yoralis’ life.
What kind of steps or legislation would you like to see take place to help those in serious need of medical help? Sound off in our comments section below.