Small Heroes Against Cancer
Each year, there are 1,500 new cases of childhood and adolescent cancer in Spain. 1,500 diagnoses that fall like a bomb in the houses of our country during the 365 days that has a year.
If the word cancer has become one of the most dreaded of our days, when it affects children, the word takes on a new dimension, because the impact of the disease extends to the whole family .
Today the International Day of the Child with Cancer is celebrated all over the world, and on this date, the Spanish Federation of Parents of Children with Cancer recalls that the survival rate of this disease in children is growing higher , Five-year rate by 75%. However, they point out that this figure will never be enough until 100% is reached. In children and adolescents, the most common cancer is leukemia .
A leukemia like the one Fer has, a nice boy of seven years, who has been facing since June an illness that has made him stay the last seven months of his house to the hospital and the hospital to his house. Between the two sites, Fer has a clear choice: “It ‘s much more fun to be at home because you play, and here I have things in hospi are difficult to put on , like the Wii “.
We spent the afternoon with him, with Susana-his mother-and his little brother, Angel, five, who flutters between us as we chat. “Can I tell you something about the claim?” Susana asks. “-Of course”. And begins to relate his small daily battles within the great struggle in which he has lived for months. He complains about the little investment in the hospital : “I’ve had the child with chemotherapy, with nausea, that when they are, they smell it all, and do you know the smell in the rooms when it rains?” “The professionals are great, there is a very prepared generation,” but not so much the facilities, he says. “When I saw that the Community had spent more than one million euros in an advertising campaign on Health, I was amazed,” he explains.
When Fer and his mother go to the Infant Jesus, the hospital where he was treated and where he had to stay, at the beginning of this story, 40 days in isolation, are usually in contact with the Aladina Foundation team . “They are the ones who have made the newest part of the hospital,” he explains, referring to the Maktub Center , the area of bone marrow transplants, which has cost 500,000 euros. “It’s spectacular,” says Susana, adding, “but that’s something the state should do, for that we pay taxes.”
Another of his struggles is the education of his son. Because of his situation, Fer can not go to school, and the Community of Madrid does not pay a teacher to go home because he goes to a private school . “If it were a public school or a concerted one, a teacher would come three hours three days a week, but since he goes to a private school, the Community pays a Foundation, which sends a teacher, but only two hours twice A week, “says Susana, who has even written to the Ombudsman to report his situation.
We ask you to tell us how it all began. He explains that the diagnosis came in Alicante, when Fer and his brother were with his grandmother, spending the summer holidays. It was she who saw that the boy was very tired, did not bathe, did not play, took three steps and tired. The tests started and then the diagnosis came: leukemia.
“At that moment, it’s a feeling that you want to die, it’s horrible, it changes your life in a matter of hours, ” says Susana, who also says that her son had a terrible time at the beginning, because he really saw his mother Scared
The problem, explains Susana, is that on June 28, uncertainty had only just begun. “They tell you it’s a leukemia but they do not tell you what type,” says Susana, remembering the weeks and weeks of tests that came after, always waiting for the most favorable result.
In the end, they knew, with the names and surnames: acute lymphoblastic leukemia type B, a complication that, within leukemias, is not the worst. “I will not forget one day when a mother asked me what was wrong with my son in the hospital. When I told him, he said: ‘the lottery has hit you.’ And it is that the daughter of that woman needed a transplant, and after obtaining it, its body rejected it. Fer does not need it, but everyone in the family has become bone marrow donors . “You can save a life and it costs nothing, we would all have to be,” Susana says.
In a few weeks, Fer and his family will spend seven months living with leukemia. It is supposed, explains his mother, “that the worst has already happened,” and now the maintenance phase begins, which are two years, “with which, we would end this summer, not the next.”
To say that all this time has been very difficult would be to say nothing. “I think the worst part is taken by mothers,” says Susana, who explains that she came to weigh 40 kilos and is now taking medication.
“Excuse me, and the children?” Complains Fer. “Well, I wanted to say other than the child,” her mother answered affectionately. “I do not mean that parents do not suffer at all, but is that mothers break with his life. I in seven months will have gone two or three times, to celebrate my birthday and little else Everything else is cancer, cancer All over the world, “explains Susana, who also has a younger son than Fer, who has inevitably been a bit displaced during all this time that her brother has been sick.
Susana is a pharmacist, she worked, but she left it when her son was diagnosed. Her father, who shaved his head when Fer’s hair fell off for the first time, did continue to work. “I recognize that it has helped me to take refuge,” he says.
“Fer, what are your plans for later?” After the question, there are a lot of projects: limousine, go to the disco , travel to Paris to see the Eiffel Tower or Rome to eat pizza . “Oh, and hire photo booth melbourne and have a party with all my friends!” .