A few years ago, Amelka found herself on the other side of the oncology department door. Usually, a hospital stay is counted in days, but in the case of our daughter, the countdown has already turned into years.
This is the third time we have to ask you for help, but what can we do if the cancer does not want to back out? We must be sure that we have kicked it out from our daughter's life! We must continue treatment in Greifswald - Amelka must undergo surgery to remove the lesion and continue immunotherapy. After control tests that were supposed to be the end of treatment, it turned out that neoplastic lesions were still active. We feel that we are closer and closer to winning, but we must stay in the place where we found rescue. We must save Amelka.
Why did cancer choose her? Why has it been five year that it doesn't want to let go of her? I don't think anyone knows the answer to this question. Recently, Amelka turned 9. She celebrated her birthday at the hospital, in the oncology department. Her 7th treatment cycle is currently underway. On August 6, five years have passed since we started our fight. That's more than half of her life…
Amelka was 3.5 years old, when she was taken out of a vibrant world of a child to be put in a sterile hospital room. The size of the tumor at that time was 17x10x10 cm. It occupied her entire abdominal cavity, shifted her internal organs, wrapped itself around her spine. When it was detected, the vertebras were already occupied. The tumor was pressing on the nerves, which is why Amelka was limping. Diagnosis: Neuroblastoma, pediatric cancer, stage IV. Cancer had attacked our child - our whole world.
Amelka was immediately admitted to the oncology department. She was in such bad condition that she did not pay attention to the fact that the children in the neighboring beds had bald heads. She did not notice other children fighting with the remnants of their strength, children who were eaten by cancer from the inside. She was exhausted from the pain and fear. She did not even have the strength to cry anymore. When we asked the doctor if Amelka would be alright, the doctor looked away. It turned out that the cancer had an ally - a genetic mutation n-MYC+, which helps cancer cells to spread through the body - says Amelka's mom.
After eight chemotherapies, the tumor partially decreased, but not enough to be removed. Too little to prevent the cancer from returning - the cancer cells were still alive, which allowed them to multiply. Amelka had to undergo five blocks of additional chemotherapy. Even more aggressive than the previous ones.
In May 2014, a year after diagnosis, Amelka underwent her first surgery. The doctors managed to do what they had assumed - to remove a part of the tumor lying on the outside of the spine. In July - she had another surgery, even more risky than the first one.
How many tears can a parent shed? Instead of taking our child on trips and showing her the world, we are spending hours in the hospital, constantly thinking whether we will even be lucky enough to win this disease among all this misfortune? Does it take long years spent in oncology to win with cancer? Our drama was supposed to end in 2015, after two years of chemotherapy, research, IVs, and surgeries. After two years of fighting cancer. At the beginning of January 2015, Amelka began treatment with antibodies in Genoa, Italy - the last stage of her cancer treatment. Within five months, she underwent 5 cycles of antibody administration. In the end, her tummy was clean! Amelka spent her sixth birthday at home. It was supposed to always be that way…
We went through hell with Amelka. We've lost her several times; cancer has almost snatched her from our hands. It was going to be good now, the worst was behind us. In February we went for check-ups. One word was enough for our nightmare to return.
Relapse! The cancer was not backing out. It had given us an illusory hope to only return with redoubled strength. It was all going to repeat itself: the hospital bed, a handful of hair on the pillow and chemotherapies so strong that they burned our daughter's veins and weakened her to such an extent that it was difficult for her to stand on her own. After 6 cycles, it was possible to perform surgery. The remnants of the tumor, which could not be removed, had to be destroyed by megachemotherapy. Thanks to your help, we were accepted at the clinic in Greifwald, Germany.
In January this year, Amelka began treatment at a German clinic. We're in Greifwald today. Unfortunately - it turns out that the treatment will be longer than expected.
We are begging you for help once more. We hope this is the last time, that our nightmare will soon end. We stand before you as parents of a terminally ill child and we wholeheartedly ask you to save us our only beloved daughter...
The situation isn’t good, which is why the doctors have decided that we cannot wait any longer! Surgery had to be performed in mid-October, and the first treatment cycle immediately after!
The second cycle is planned to begin on November 26. We received a cost estimate that knocked us off our feet once more. We're in the hospital with Amelka. We are banging our heads against the wall because we do not have that kind of money and we cannot get hold of an amount like this on our own!
At the moment, the clinic in Greifswald is the only center that offered us their help. Treatment in Poland has already officially ended. We were offered a hospice! How can we, the parents, give up on our child? Please, help us save Amelka.