Max - save the child's life!
Immunotherapy with anti-GD2 antibodies to save Max’s life
Ends at: 01 October 2019
Behind us is another key moment in Max’s treatment... a surgery to remove the primary tumor. It was successful. Everything went according to plan, and we feel like we can finally breathe! Six months after the diagnosis, 20 hospital stays, 11 cycles of chemotherapy, 10 transfusions, 7 times under general anaesthesia... But that’s not the end of the road for us yet.
Max keeps asking what’s going to happen next, what’s another step... it seems though, like he simply stopped wondering when is his treatment going to come to an end, he accepted this life as his reality. He realised and understands that it is a long, bumpy road and that nothing is certain here.
Ahead of Max there is still a high dose chemotherapy treatment with bone marrow transplantation, radiotherapy and finally immunotherapy, which is the purpose of this fundraiser. Immunotherapy that is to help us make our biggest dream come true: the moment when healthy Max will stand in the door of the hospital and leave this place for the last time. Irrevocably. Forever. We just can’t wait for the day of Max’s victory in the longest and most dramatic match of his life.
We reduced the collection amount because we managed to secure some of the money needed for treatment, but we’re extending its duration, because the goal is still far away. And as always, we need your help and support. Thank you for each donation so far, you are amazing!
Thank you for your prayers, thank you for keeping your fingers crossed, thank you for each and every kind thought. We’re tremendously grateful for your support, it is so truly important and valuable to us. All those beautiful gestures really touch our hearts, give us strength and help us fight and stay in faith every single day. Please don’t stop supporting our little son! And if you’d like to follow Max’s story, here’s the link www.facebook.com/MeczMaksia
Every day we open a new chapter of the fight for our son. We try to do everything that is in our power to help Max get out of this story alive. There are many stages of this fight and all of them are new to us...
First and foremost there’s the enormous effort of Max’s doctors. Then there is the hospital that has become our second home. There are also 48 hours of non stop chemistry treatments.... It’s all extremely challenging.... primarily for Max, but also for us - to support him, to be strong, to sit next to him with a smile on our faces while fighting the tears and the fear...
This fundraiser is also an important stage in our fight for Max’s life ... Immunotherapy, which awaits Max, reduces the risk of lethal relapse by 20%. It’s not refunded by Insurance and its cost comes to a seven-digit number. In the first instance, when we’ve heard this amount, we thought: abstraction. Over a million zlotys ... We’re never going to gather that much.... but when the child's life comes into play.... nothing is impossible!
We’ll do everything in our power to turn what we’re experiencing with Maks, into just an episode in his long, happy life and for the seventh oncological floor of the Children's Health Center to remain only a memory. Difficult and painful, but only a memory.
Cancer diagnosis is always a blow, but it is particularly severe when it affects the child. All the more we need to chase Max's cancer away, banish it, kick it out forever, bury it in the past. Having said that, to make this happen, your help is needed. Therefore, please, be with us and help us save our son’s life. We really appreciate what you’ve done for us already! All your good thoughts, prayers and donations really mean world to us and we’ll be eternally grateful for it!
If you’d like to follow Max’s story and his everyday fight against the cancer, you can click HERE. He’s the bravest and most awesome boy on the planet!
Here’s a story of a life and death match between a little boy and a deadly tumor... The battlefield of this fight for life is the oncology ward where Max and his devastated parents spend most of their time. Like every parent, they would do anything to protect their little boy from all the evil in this world, but unfortunately, they can’t protect him from this, at least not without help. They are asking for your help, hoping that together we can save Max’s life. Please read this, share it and help save the life!
Up until recently, our life was quite ordinary: work, family, household responsibilities. But it has all changed recently. The fear crept into our mind and settled with us. Took away our peacefulness and happiness... The oncology ward where our son Max is fighting for his life has become our new reality... Looking at him lying in a hospital bed, we can’t help but to keep thinking that he shouldn’t be here... he should sit at a school desk, kick his beloved football, play with friends, and enjoy his childhood ... Instead, he’s learning the names of the medicines he is given and looking at how chemotherapy is getting into him. Max is aware that he is seriously ill, he knows he has cancer. He knows that some children die because of this... Max also knows that he must fight. He knows that we will never give up fighting for his life.
The year of 2019 is the worst year in our lives... in January, three weeks after the New Year's Eve... at a time when others were wondering if they would be able to keep the New Year's resolutions, the only thing we could think of was that our child is mortally ill. Max was always very active, he was like everywhere all the time… We thought that a little blackish spot near his eye is just a bruise. Well... it disappeared after a few days... but then it reappeared again alongside something else.... distress... Max had told us that he didn’t hit himself, fell over nor anything like that... and we noticed that the eye was slightly bulging...
In our worst nightmares, we didn’t suppose that the black eye was caused by a tumor in his head, metastasis of neuroblastoma, that was pushing the eye out.
Our doctor was already suspicious... He sent us to the hospital and advised to insist that Max should get a tomography... We didn’t wait long for the results and were taken to a single room aside. A young doctor came to us. We will never forget her face, white as a wall, terrified. Between some general statements and difficult medical terms, we understood one word though. Oncology. Just a few moments later, we were already in an ambulance, rushing on the signal to the Children's Health Center. It was evening, the center of the capital of Poland, cars stuck in traffic were moving away to let us pass... Max delighted, with his nose-to-the-glass. He said that his dream had just came true – being in an ambulance going on the signal... We wish he had never had a chance to fulfill that dream...
Neuroblastoma, stage IV, the worst one... Cancer very malignant, very aggressive... Very dangerous. And very, very deadly... It attacks quickly, often comes back. It kills half of his sick little victims... It targets only children. In Max’s case, it metastasized to the bone marrow, lymph nodes... The tumor in his head was the size of a lemon. Doctors thought it was a brain tumor... Meanwhile, it turned out that the primary tumor is somewhere else, in our little boy’s tummy. Apart from a black spot around the eye, Max had no symptoms at all. He wasn’t tired, apathetic nor was he seriously ill... He kept running around, full of energy, played football with his team and was his absolutely normal self... He also had regular blood tests, ECGs and other tests and all of them kept showing that he was completely healthy...
January 22nd, the date of diagnosis. On that day, Max has became a patient of the oncology department and we’ve became onco-parents . January 22nd, the date we’ll remember for the rest of our lives. That was when one world had ended and the next has begun. In our new world, every day is greatly appreciated, every moment together is a real blessing, every smile on our son’s face is a true miracle ... it’s because we don’t know what will happen next... we’re terrified that each moment, each word, each conversation, each smile, each kiss, each hug might be the last one... But aside from that, we mostly live in fear... Fear, which increases greatly especially on the days of the results, on the days when we are given an answer to the most important question of our existence: who is winning this life and death match? - Max or cancer. Being a parent of a child who suffers from that deadly disease also means an enormous amount of pain... his physical pain and our internal suffering caused by looking at our own child going through all that he’s going through every day...
Immediately after admission to the oncology department Max was treated with a very strong, very invasive therapy... He lost his appetite... He also lost his hair. They fell out in just one night... way faster than we expected. Max does not part with his hat, he only removes it to sleep. Lack of hair remarkably reminds us how serious his sickness is. This and the bruises... When the blood results, especially platelets, drop, purple spots appear on Max’s skin. Bruises appear everywhere, our son’s legs are battered as after the war. We don’t count anymore how many times we went to the hospital, how many urgent transfusions of blood and platelets are behind Max already… But this is the price for chemotherapy... the price for a chance to save his life....
But fortunately there are some good news too. And that’s the most important thing for us. After a series of tests, we were informed that the response to the treatment is very good... Both, in the bone marrow and in the bones, the cancer cells are completely gone, the tumor in the head that was the size of a lemon is also almost fully absorbed... Our son is a real fighter! But there is still the main tumor in his tummy left, the original one. It is active and deadly. The statistics say that 50% of children who suffer from neuroblastoma die... We’re hoping that our son will be among the survivors, that he’ll get a chance for a normal, healthy life... that’s all we dream about... to some it’s so little, to us... it’s everything...
Even though the news are optimistic, it doesn’t mean that the fight for our son's life is over. Not at all... That’s just a beginning. Max is waiting for two more cycles of chemotherapy, afterwards there’s a surgery of tumor resection followed by mega-chemotherapy with bone marrow transplant... The last stage of treatment, ending the chapter under the title of "cancer" is immunotherapy. This treatment involves special antibodies, which are to destroy the cancer cells that have remained in the body... It strengthens the body to cope with the next possible attack of cancer, and thus prevents recurrence... Neuroblastoma very often strikes again. It happens to half of the cured children. The second attack is stronger also because the child is weaker... So when it hits again, the chance of fighting it back decreases drastically. It’s because if the body did not react to a treatment for the first time, why would it react again? Reconciling for many children is simply a death sentence. Immunotherapy increases the chance of survival by as much as 20%.
Treatment that can save our son's life is not covered by social insurance. It costs over USD 300.000. Zeros are spinning in front of our eyes ... They are magnifying the fear for our son's life because we simply don’t have that kind of money. We keep asking ourselves and trying to think of a way to gather the funds that will enable us to fight. Telling our story and asking for help is the only thing we can do... We hope that you will find in your heart the willingness to help us. We simply can’t imagine that the life of our beloved child could end at the age of 8. Who would? Please help us save our little boy! We’d greatly appreciate it!
Thank you in advance! People like you help us stay with hope and make this world a better place for everyone. God bless you!