The David J. Kabakow Foundation was established to raise funds to support research and awareness of Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) and to promote education in the medical community.

David in Vegas

A Note from Robin and Mark Kabakow

On October 23, 2015, our lives changed forever. Our only child David passed away from a rare and often fatal condition called HLH (Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis). David was 23 years old, had just graduated from American University in May and started his career in Real Estate. On August 3rd 2015, David woke up not feeling well and stayed home from work. Later that same day, Robin took David to Urgent Care as he had a fever of 103.5 with a bad cough. We were told that David had a small spot on his lung which indicated “walking pneumonia” and was sent home with antibiotics and told to rest.

Within 12 hours after returning from Urgent Care, David was rushed to Overlook Hospital as he was having trouble breathing. We were told that he had double pneumonia, developed ARDS (Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome), and his body began to shut down. We were told that the Hospital was going to transfer him to Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan. David was put into a medically induced coma and quickly transferred to the hospital in NYC, where they could better meet his medical needs.

After 2 ½ weeks of various tests, David’s health continued to decline, and required life support. Finally, they did a bone marrow biopsy and confirmed that he was suffering from HLH. Treatment began immediately and we hoped and prayed for a positive response. David began to respond to the treatments after 6 weeks and make enough progress to be taken off all of the machines that were keeping him alive, and was brought out of his coma.

After spending 9 weeks in the hospital, David was finally able to come home and continue the treatment of HLH, which included chemotherapy. Although we knew that we had a long road ahead of us, we were optimistic about David’s recovery. David was home for 16 days while still going back to the Columbia Presbyterian Hospital for chemotherapy. Unfortunately, he had a bad reaction to his last chemotherapy treatment and was readmitted to the Hospital. With great shock and sadness, David passed away in less than 24 hours from the complications brought on by his fragile immune system. David was a wonderful son who was kind, loving, sweet, cared about others and had an entire life ahead of him to enjoy. He was taken away from all those that loved him way too soon. We miss David every second of every day. In his honor and memory, we are dedicated to raising awareness and funds to find a cure for this rare disease.

In memory of David, please consider making a donation to help us fund research, and to educate the medical community to learn more about HLH.

With much love and appreciation,
Robin and Mark Kabakow

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