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Ridgewood boy hopes to save life of younger half-brother

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot
Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot
Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

CLIFFVIEW PILOT EXCLUSIVE: Seketl’e Jacobs, the “Baby Warrior” whose fight to beat a liver disease touched people around the world — and spurred his 10-year-old half-brother to mount a t-shirt selling campaign to help pay medical expenses, died today at Seattle Children’s Hospital. Seketl’e (suh-KET’-luh) was born a month ago tomorrow. CLICK HERE FOR STORY ….

Torin, Seketl’e Jacobs


At 10 years old, Torin Jacobs, Jr. of Ridgewood is an entrepreneur by necessity: His month-old baby half-brother needs a new liver, so Torin is selling t-shirts to help raise money for the costs involved in what is hoped will be a successful transplant.

But he needs your help.

“All money goes to him,” Torin said of his t-shirt venture. “I love my little brother!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Born Aug. 13, Seketl’e Jacobs (suh-KET’-luh) is at Seattle Children’s Hospital, where he was placed this week on the donor transplant list.

The family has temporarily relocated from their home in Anchorage, Alaska. No one can say how long their stay will be. One thing is certain: It costs a lot.

Which is where Torin hopes to come in.

The front of the custom-designed shirt bears an illustration of a soldier and reads: “BABY WARRIOR SEKETL’E.” The back is both inspired and inspiring: There’s an illustration of Earth with the words: “LITTLE BRO – THE WORLD IS PRAYING.”

You can get one, and help Seketl’e’s family, by emailing Torin’s mom, Amy McCambridge Steppe at:

You can also contribute to the Seketl’e Jacobs Donation Fund at any Wells Fargo/Wachovia Bank nationwide.

Alaskan novelist Don Rearden is trying to help, as well: The highest bidder in an eBay auction will have his or her name featured in his upcoming novel, Moving Salmon Bay. Click here: GET YOUR NAME IN A NOVEL

The family had a huge scare when Seketl’e suffered a collapsed lung before having to undergo an embolization procedure that stopped more than half the blood flowing to his liver.

But doctors stabilized the baby, whose name means “little brother” in Koyukon Athabascan, his mother’s language — in honor of his relationship to Torin. Seketl’e was returned to the active list late yesterday afternoon.

A transplant team is prepared for what they hope will soon be surgery for the infant. The best donor, they said, would be a small female — the younger, the better — weighing 100 pounds or less.

Fortunately, Seketl’e — who is afflicted with what is officially termed hepatic hemangioendothelioma — is open to all blood types.

The physicians are working “to put him in tip-top shape for surgery,” Seketl’e’s mom, 27-year-old Helena, wrote yesterday. He “handled it like the super champ that he is.”

“We are so grateful and blessed to have access to this!” she said of the Seattle hospital staff. “He is in good hands.”

Torin’s mom, Amy Mccambridge Steppe, is proud of her own boy’s selflessness. While other kids were preparing for the new school year, the fifth-grader was hoping he could help his baby brother get better.

For updates on Seketl’e’s condition: LOVE FOR SEKETLE

Phineas Azcuy is a photojournalist, originally from Miami Beach, who lives in downtown Manhattan and works as a business manager at the American Artists Professional League. He also attends Lehman College in the Bronx.


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