In Nigeria, “Ajani” means “he who wins the struggle.” In Roanoke, Virginia, it means the same thing. Ajani was diagnosed with leukemia three years ago at age two. His doctor gave him three months to life, unless he got an unrelated umbilical cord blood transplant. Fortunately, a matching cord blood unit was found, thanks to another family’s generous decision to donate their baby’s’ cord blood to a public cord blood bank.
Ajani received his transplant at Duke University Hospital, and his mother Risa has been trying to keep up with him ever since. This is no small task, since Ajani’s motor is always running. He enjoys riding his bike, playing ball of any kind, listening to music and competing with his cousins in just about anything.
“No question, the transplant saved my son’s life,” says Risa. “I thought I appreciated him before, but after all he’s gone through, I appreciate him even more now.” In Edo, one of the languages of Nigeria, Ajani means “he who wins the struggle.” Ajani is living up to his name in every way.