“As soon as your child gets cancer, your life becomes a war for their survival. Our youngest daughter became sick for reasons that seemed normal two years ago, but we knew there was something more to it. At one point we ended up going into the hospital five times in four weeks, we kept telling the doctors something was wrong but they just kept telling us it was normal. On our last visit to Temple Street Hospital, we met a doctor who promised not to let us leave without finding out what was wrong. Our daughter had stage four Neuroblastoma, which is fatal in about 70% of cases. She had cancer cells in her blood, bone marrow and multiple tumours. She started the most intense chemotherapy and a few months later she had massive surgery where they removed her primary tumour which was the size of a CD case. A lot of the time she was just unable to do anything. She was on 17 different drugs at one point in time. During stem cell transplant she spent five weeks in a glass room in total isolation to completely rebuild her immune system. It was a horrific experience for us, not to mention her. In the same period, seven kids died, including some kids whose parents became very very close to us. An unforgettable moment for me was after finishing the fourth round of extra chemo, after eight months of treatment. One of her nurses told her ‘You are finished now, you’re ready to go home!’ As soon as she heard it, her eyes lit up, she picked up her magic wand and ran out of the room. She ran around the ward to each and every room shouting: ‘Magic chemo for everybody! Magic chemo for everyone!’ As soon as she could, my five-year-old daughter was spreading the magic chemo around. I don’t think people understand that children can get cancer. And people always think you get ‘the cancer’ not ‘a cancer’. There are many different types of cancer that affect children. People aren’t aware and they don’t know the signs so childhood cancer is a seriously under-resourced and underfunded illness. Whether your child survives or dies, it becomes the parent’s responsibility to raise awareness and help to get funding. If parents don’t do it, nobody will. This is why I’m here telling our story. We need help.”
This post was highlighted by Lightitupgold Childhood Cancer Foundation. Founded by parents and family members of children with cancer.
Once again, Humans of Dublin is collaborating with Childhood Cancer Foundation. With this series we are trying to raise awareness of the devastating impact childhood cancer has on children and their families.
They need our help to keep their projects research and services going. Please donate to help CCF and the little heroes in St John’s Ward!