photos by ESPERO PHOTOGRAPHY

Resilient Rina

Rina Sy, a 6-year-old girl from Rancho Peñasquitos, has inspired her family, the community, and all those who have heard her story. Rina was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia Philadelphia chromosome on May 10, 2013. As a rare, high-risk form of leukemia, immediate action was taken to save Rina’s life. The option of a bone marrow transplant was explored, and despite the odds, her brother Patrick was found to be a perfect match. Rina underwent a bone marrow transplant four months later. To everyone’s surprise, not only was the transplant successful, but Patrick’s cells proved to be double the amount of new cells anticipated. Nicknamed “Powerful Patrick,” after the discovery, Patrick’s cells led to a healthy recovery for Rina. According to Rina’s mother, Marianne, “The recovery bonded the siblings together stronger than ever imagined.”

Today Rina is a typical kid again, thriving in 92129 and enjoying life. Thanks to the help of Patrick, her medical team, and the work, advocacy, research, and support provided by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS), she was given a second chance. Her family prays that she will be declared “cancer free” within five years after her transplant. The Sy family is currently seeking to give back to LLS. They encourage people to come out for the Light the Night Walk on Nov. 7 at Petco Park at 7:30 p.m. All proceeds from the event will benefit research for all blood cancers through LLS. Team Resilient Rina has set a fundraising goal at $10,000. To make a donation for the team be sure to visit www.pages.lightthenight.org/sd/sandiego14/resilientrina.