Senator “Heartened” By Elizabeth Girl’s Progress

ELIZABETH – Five-year-old Yarelis Bonilla and her seven-year-old sister and donor, Gisselle, underwent bone marrow transplant surgery yesterday at the Hackensack University Medical Center.

The Bonilla family battled bureaucratic obstacles that were in the way of Gisselle travelling to the United States from El Salvador, where she resides with her grandmother. U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) helped the Bonilla family obtain Humanitarian Parole for Gisselle last fall, enabling her to donate bone marrow to her sister. Both girls are said to be recovering well.

“I am heartened to hear that Yarelis finally received the transplant she so desperately needed and that both she and her sister Gisselle are doing well,” said Menendez who spoke with the girls’ grandfather, Gertrudis, this afternoon. “It’s truly remarkable how brave these young sisters are. Their courage should be an inspiration to us all. My thoughts and prayers are with Yarelis, Gisselle and their loving family, who never wavered in their efforts to save young Yarelis’ life.”

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