After no donor match, Naples boy overcoming rare bone marrow disorder

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A boy from Naples is getting a second chance at life.

Grae Salerno’s son, Dalton, has aplastic anemia. It is a problem one Lee Health doctor describes as when the bone marrow stops working. The patient does not have enough blood cells and suffers medical consequences.

Due to Dalton having a rare case, no bone marrow donors were available. His mother took a risk and donated her own as a half match.

Grae said the transplant appears to have worked. Her son’s ANC count was at zero before the procedure. It went to 110, then 380; and as of Tuesday, 3,050.

“We’re going through the most difficult time of my life,” Grae said. “We couldn’t have asked for a better outcome at this point.”

Though nobody in Southwest Florida was a match, she said the outpouring of support has been overwhelming.

“His spirits are getting better,” Grae said. “Every day, he’s getting more strength.”


Grae and Dalton will be in St. Petersburg as his recovery continues for the next two months. Here is an address to mail letters or cards for support: Cornerstone United Methodist Church 8200 Immokalee Rd Naples, FL, 34119.

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