Filipe and family at his 7th birthday celebration! (Wolff Family Photo)
In early 2012, MAPS began a long-term commitment to help Filipe Wolff, a young Brazilian boy battling cancer and liver disease. Filipe was just three years old when his parents and a group of friends first approached us, and he suffered from a variety of related conditions that kept him going in and out of the hospital. Filipe’s parents, Guilherme and Évelyn, along with the Juntos Por Filipe/Together With Filipe Campaign, sought MAPS’ assistance to raise and manage funds to help cover the enormous medical costs of his care, including the liver transplant that he desperately needed.
In September 2015, Filipe celebrated his 7th birthday with his family. One month later, on October 8th, another celebration took place–for the two-year anniversary of his successful liver transplant!
MAPS helped the campaign raise close to $130,000 in donations from caring community members in a little more than a year. We tracked these funds separately to cover Filipe’s medically related costs. Once our MAPS Case Worker was able to get Filipe enrolled in a health insurance plan that pays most of his medical costs, MAPS stopped collecting new donations.
Finally, in October of 2013, Filipe was stable and strong enough to receive the gift his father had been waiting to give him–part of his own liver.
“Since the successful liver transplant at Massachusetts General Hospital, it has been our delight to see Filipe blossom into a much healthier and growing child who can for the most part lead a normal and happy life,” said MAPS Executive Director Paulo Pinto, MPA.
Filipe continues to face some serious health challenges and still needs a bone marrow transplant, but so far no match has been found. The Icla da Silva Foundation is actively searching for a marrow donor. Anyone between the ages of 18 and 44 interested in being registered as a potential donor can contact the Foundation at www.icla.org.
Thanks to Filipe’s health insurance coverage, $96,940 remained in the MAPS Filipe Wolff Campaign Account as of Sept. 30, 2015, out of the $128,470 MAPS helped raise between February 2012 and May 2013. The remaining funds will continue to be used to pay Filipe’s monthly health insurance premiums, co-pays, and any other costs related to his care as long as he needs assistance.
“MAPS has pledged to the Wolff Family, and to the community which has so generously come forward to help him, that any funds not required for Filipe’s care and related essential costs will be transferred into a MAPS Endowment Fund once Filipe is completely healthy,” Pinto said. “Those additional funds will be safeguarded and used to assist other seriously ill children from the Portuguese-speaking community.”