A family with many ties to the North Coast is seeking prayers, hope and financial help for a 2 1⁄2-month-old baby diagnosed with the disorder often referred to as “bubble boy syndrome.”
Coast Union High School grads Pat Wilkinson and Kristen Anderson Wilkinson are the parents of beguiling baby boy Phoenix Archer Wilkinson, who is in a sterile unit of UC San Francisco Hospital’s children’s wing. The parents are natives of this area who worked in local restaurants, played on local sports teams and still consider the Central Coast to be their home, even though they now live in San Francisco.
Phoenix’s grandparents are Cambria contractor Mike Anderson and Kim Anderson, and Kim and Leslie Eady of Cayucos, who own Cambria Shores Motel in Cambria. Great-grandparents are Don and Mary Anderson, who have lived in Cambria since the 1980s.
Everybody is pinning their hopes for the child on a bone-marrow transplant. But it can cost $40,000 just to find a donor, because none of the family members was a good enough match to warrant the surgical risk.
Even with a successful $500,000 transplant and the chemotherapy that precedes and follows it, Phoenix is likely to remain for close to an entire year in the hospital, where his parents also are required to stay around the clock.
An online fundraiser has been launched to help cover the significant medical expenses. A local in-person fundraiser is being planned, with channel swimmer David Yudovin leading the charge.
For many years, Kim Anderson, one of Phoenix’s grandmothers, managed Yudovin’s Ocean Crystal Seafoods business, and since then, she has worked in the San Luis Obispo County wine industry for a decade.
Phoenix was born more than a month early while his mom was, with a doctor’s OK, visiting Kentucky to be in a friend’s wedding. The baby was placed in an incubator, where he stayed for 31⁄2 weeks. A week later at home in San Francisco, a routine doctor’s visit included devastating news: Phoenix was diagnosed with Omenn syndrome, a rare and severe genetic immunodeficiency condition.
While the Wilkinsons have health insurance, “it won’t cover everything,” Kristen wrote on a blog. “Any donations received will go toward current and future medical costs,” and any additional funds received above and beyond what is required for Phoenix’s care will be donated to the Immune Deficiency Foundation.
How To help
Donations can be given online at: www.giveforward.com or at any Heritage Oaks branch to the account of “Don Anderson benefit of Phoenix Wilkinson.” The website also includes more details about the baby’s ordeal.
For further details, email Don and Mary Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Investigate being a bone marrow donor at www.bethematch.org.