KAPAA, Hawaii (KHON2) — Seeley Borges was born on Kauai on September 30, 2021. She is the little sister that Ainsley has always wanted.
“My older daughter was the one that prayed so hard for a sister,” said Hayley Borges, mom to Ainsley and Seeley.
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However, the last two months has not been the newborn phase that Hayley Borges expected.
It all started when Seeley was three weeks old and had a slight fever.
“She actually projectile vomited. So we got scared,” Hayley explained recounting the day Seeley was rushed to the emergency room.
Doctors noticed Seeley’s white blood cell count was unusually high.
“So after taking blood work and coming back,” Hayley explained. “The count, her white blood cell count was at 60,000. So the normal range is between 5,000-20,000.”
At just three weeks old, Seeley had to be medevaced to Kapiolani Medical Center’s NICU on Oahu.
“We could tell by the vibe and the panic in the room that it meant something serious,” she said.
Little Seeley was diagnosed with leukemia, a blood cancer.
“I remember that first night that we found out, my husband and I, I mean, we went through like every stage of grief in a condensed period because it seemed like a really, really bad dream,” Hayley said.
Seeley is not even two months old, and she’s already endured 10 days of intense chemotherapy.
“She is a tough little cookie! She acts like nothing is going on,” Seeley’s mom said.
But the hardest part of it all is being separated from big sister Ainsley.
“The guilt that you feel when you’re leaving one of them is indescribable,” Hayley said.
Ainsley is not allowed inside the NICU, so the three made a TikTok dance video virtually to help pass the time.
Mom Hayley said she dreams of the day Seeley is healthy enough to go home, so the two can dance together in person.
However in order to get to that point, there is a long road ahead of them.
Seeley needs a bone marrow transplant.
“We have a hard time in Hawaii finding matches because we’re so mixed,” Hayley Borges said about the National Bone Marrow Register. “We are so mixed, and the registry is predominantly white.”
The Borges family says there is only one thing on their Christmas wish list.
“The best Christmas gift ever would be absolutely finding a match,” Hayley Borges said. “You know, Seeley being cured completely, and this being a very, very, very bad memory that we can put on the shelf.”
If you are between 18-44, you could potentially save Seeley’s life.
Registering with the National Bone Marrow Registry takes just a few minutes and a quick cheek swab.
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To sign up to be a donor, click here.