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Thieves steal priceless mementos from cancer-stricken child

Prognosis worsens for Turlock boy

Thieves steal priceless mementos from cancer-stricken child

Dylan Givargiznia, a 10-year-old Turlock boy, has been battling a rare form of leukemia since he was six. Thieves recently broke into his family's home and, among other items, stole photos and vide...

POSTED June 27, 2009 4:14 p.m.
It’s a sad fact of life that Dylan Givargiznia has come accustomed to bad news.
When he was 6-years-old Dylan was hit with the life-altering news that he had a rare form of leukemia. Since then he has been on a roller coaster of remissions and reoccurrences that have taken him in and out of the hospital. Now, the 10-year-old boy is dealing with the news that his prognosis has worsened and his odds of survival have slimmed. To top it all off, Dylan and his family were burglarized Friday and the thieves stole his much beloved gaming system and irreplaceable photos and videos of Dylan’s childhood.
While the family was visiting Dylan at a Bay Area hospital, thieves broke into their Turlock home and stole cash, two plasma televisions, gaming consoles, jewelry, and a fire safe that contained the most priceless items — photos and videos and a journal Dylan’s father, Arnet Givargiznia, had been keeping for his son that documented his fight against cancer.
“We know times are hard and we don’t hate these people,” Givargiznia said. “I just hope that if they have a heart and think about their own children if they have them, that they will return the photos and videos. I can’t replace those things. I really, really want them back. There would be no questions asked if they were returned.”
The loss of the gaming consoles also came as a particular blow Givargiznia had to deliver to his son.
“He can’t go outside and play like other kids,” Givargiznia said. “Playing video games was one of the few things he could do and enjoy. But he’s not mad. He has a very good heart.”
The precious photos and videos that were stolen have taken on a new level of importance and sentiment in the Givargiznia family as they pin all their hopes of a recovery on a miracle. Givargiznia said the doctors have given his son only a 5 percent chance of survival. A bone marrow transplant is their last option, but first they have to find a matching donor and second, Dylan has to go into remission for a transplant to be successful.
A bone marrow and blood drive for Dylan is scheduled from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday at the Assyrian American Civic Club at 2618 N. Golden State Boulevard. The family is making a special plea for Assyrians to come out and register because the odds of finding a genetic match are greater among people of the same or similar ethnicity.
“We’re looking for a miracle,” Givargiznia said. “Even if it can’t help my child, it may help some other child. These kids deserve a chance to grow up.”
Givargiznia recently left his job of nine years to spend more time with his son. A trust fund that was set up to help the family with expenses and medical bills has dwindled to just a few dollars. The trust fund is set up at Farmers and Merchant Bank under Dylan Givargiznia.
Dylan came home Monday after another heavy dosage of chemotherapy. He returns to the hospital for another round on June 30.
The bone marrow drive takes about one hour and involves taking four cotton swab samples from the mouth. It is not required to register in advance, but those wanting an appointment or more information can contact Liz Ustick, marrow recruitment specialist at (916) 453-3797.
Anyone with information about the burglary can contact the Turlock Police Department at 668-5550.
To contact Sabra Stafford, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2002.
Dylan came
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