B Cell Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL)
Andersson Cedillos's Bio
Andersson’s father was a naval officer in El Salvador. He held the rank of lieutenant commander. The family lived in a large comfortable home in the town of Concepcion Batres. A few years ago gangs began to battle for control of the town. Due to his position in the navy, Andersson’s father was targeted by these gangs, who demanded weaponry and ammunition from him. They threatened to kill him if he did not comply. In addition, whenever Andersson would leave his house, gang members would approach him and demand to know his age, why he hadn’t joined a gang, and threatened him with retaliation if he didn’t state loyalty to their particular gang. The neighborhood became more and more dangerous. They often heard machine gunfire within a block or two from their home. The family pulled their boys out of school for a year for fear they would be shot. They were prisoners in their own home.
When Andersson became ill, his treatments were scheduled around their ability to get him to and from the clinic, which was three hours away. There were times when Andersson should have received transfusions or other treatments, but the doctors needed to work around the dangerous situation and would send him home without the optimum treatment. Sometimes the family would stay at the clinic until 1 AM or so in order to get home when the situation would be safer.
The family felt forced to leave their home. In fact, so many people have left Concepcion Batres that the town is now known as “Pueblo Fantasma” (Ghost Town). Since arriving in the U.S., Blanca (Andersson’s mother), has learned that most of the children being treated alongside her son have passed away. They also recently learned that a navy official and lifelong friend had been shot to death.
The Cedillos family has made formal application to the Department of Homeland Security for asylum. I have documentation of their status, dated 11/24/17, which states that they “may remain in the United States until” their “asylum application is decided”. They have been fingerprinted, and were told that obtaining work permits and social security numbers would take a month, maybe two. They are excitedly awaiting this paperwork so that they may begin to seek (legal) employment.
Presently, Moises (Andersson’s father) is a house painter earning $15/hr. He claims he works from 6 A.M. to 6 P.M., yet is only paid for 8 hours a day. He doesn’t complain because he believes he will be let go. He also feels a sense of humiliation over his underemployment, but he acknowledges that keeping his family safe is of utmost importance. Blanca works whenever she can sewing clothes for $10 an hour. Andersson has been receiving oncology treatment at Children’s National Medical Center for B Cell Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL) since he arrived in Spring of 2016. He aspires to graduate from high school, and attend college to become an engineer. He would also like to pursue his interest in music. He is self taught in piano, and is taking classes in guitar at school. He has an 11 year old brother named Jeffersson.
On November 3, 2017, Andersson obtained medical insurance coverage through the Maryland’s Children’s Medical Services Program. The family, however, is in dire financial need for care incurred before his insurance policy became effective. They owe the hospital approximately $11,500. To date, they have paid approximately $1400 in prescriptions out of pocket.Their rent is $1250 a month, not including utilities. They pay an immigration attorney $300 a month. I have visited their apartment numerous times. Blanca always insists on feeding me! She humbly serves me delicious food, on paper plates and plastic forks. So obviously they don’t even have plates or silverware. Their apartment is sparsely furnished. They cannot afford to own a car.
I beg you to consider helping this child. The Cedillos family is deeply faithful, and believe Andersson survived the sepsis and coma as a result of their prayers. Likewise, they fervently believe that God will help them get through this ordeal. Anything you can contribute will alleviate their distress enormously.
FCPS Teacher – Frederick High School