When I was admitted to the hospital, it was discovered that I had two cancerous tumours: the main one in the cerebellum, above the spinal cord, and another on the brainstem.
Following surgery, a month of radiotherapy and over a year of chemotherapy, I’d lost a lot of weight. Eating had been really difficult. As a result, I had a feeding tube inserted and was nourished overnight for two years. I also received 52 blood and platelet transfusions to help me regain my strength after such an intense round of treatments. Today, I’m 24 and after years of medical follow-up, I consider myself lucky that the ordeal is over. Without the magic of medical science, I might not be here today.
The long, blonde hair that I had as a child will never grow back as beautifully because of the radiotherapy. My whole body is weaker and I tire quickly. Because the surgeons had to remove vertebrae during the operation, I suffer from scoliosis and chronic pain. What’s more, my weak physical capacity throws off my balance and places limits on what I can do.
I truly fought for my life. And I’m still fighting today so that I can enjoy it to the fullest. By working hard, I managed to finish high school. I may never be able to hold a job, but I do rewarding activities involving song and crafts that allow me to surpass myself and feel proud.
Yes, I’m lucky. But I think you’ll agree: it would be sad if other children were to suffer the same disabling after-effects as I have. Only research can ensure that this doesn’t happen to them.
Medical science has made remarkable progress in the past 15 years. But we can always do more for children who have to go through the same ordeal. As long as illness causes suffering, any reason to support the Foundation of Stars is a good one.
One small gesture can improve the lives of sick children and give them back their smiles. Please join me by renewing your support, so that children can heal and get the most out of life!
Donor of the Foundation of Stars