This is the story of Ava, my beautiful daughter, a wonderful 13-year old that loves to learn and is truly an exceptional Human Being! Ava has been recently diagnosed with ALL (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia). She Loves Art more than anything and she creates beautiful digital Art every day. Always attentive and polite. She loves History, Geography, English Language, Games, and animals. Always curious about the world around her.
Middle of April 2020, Ava started to show redness behind her ear and small swelling behind her right ear. I took her to the beach clinic while we experienced the first major lockdown for Covid-19.
The doctor in the clinic performed a blood test which came almost normal except for a small infection. They notice scratches on her arms and she explained that she has a cat that plays with her. They thought it was the cat scratch disease. We came home with a prescription of strong antibiotics. 2 weeks later another blood test showed improvement and the swollen part seems to be coming down. Suddenly it was getting worse… another Doctor another test and more antibiotics. Nothing has improved nor got worse at first. She seems to be more tired but no other symptoms. We went again to the same Doctor he told us to do the expensive test for various viruses. She was misdiagnosed every time we went to the clinic. We live in Beach Town far from any hospital and most of the doctors are not Specialists.
On September 28th, I took Ava to another doctor after having an on and off high fever for a week with swollen glands on the right side of her ear and neck along with joints pain. He performed another blood test that came with Anemia. He was not capable of treating her in the clinic so he sent us immediately to the nearest hospital, about 1,5 hours from the clinic. Ava stayed there overnight. They performed a CT Scan and she was diagnosed with Lymphoma. But the doctor there did not felt confident and we were transferred in the ambulance to the Children’s Hospital is in the Capital that is 5 hours away. I will never forget that night in the ambulance long night with so many unanswered questions… Paramedics fighting for Ava’s life. We arrived at the Emergency Unit and so many tests were performed *including the very painful COVID-19 test…We learned shortly after that her blood cells and platelet counts were extremely abnormal, which led to an actual diagnosis of ALL (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia). This appears suddenly and is a fast-growing, aggressive form of Leukemia. The serious nature of this form of cancer is that Ava’s chemo treatments started the very next day after her diagnosis. There were many complications at first including very high blood sugar and insulin shots with many blood transfusions. I never left her side!
While Ava’s recovery rate is high, I have been told it will be a battle of a few years and she is still in the High-Risk Group.
We are currently staying in and out of the hospital where we will remain for the 2-3 next months with Ava while accruing bills, fees, medication expenses, and other such things as housing payments and education. Transportation alone cost us all our savings since we do not have a car and we live far. Life was already hard and no family is ever fully prepared for this and we recognize that although it may be a lot to ask, we need help getting through the next few years of her treatment as we have taken some form of leave from our normal activities and job.
Fighting off this cancer involves several stages of chemotherapy in order to get to remission, consolidation, and maintenance. Not to mention that this has occurred during the midst of a global COVID-19 pandemic and flu season. The planning and care that must go into protecting Ava’s and our small family that includes an elderly Grandmother from any diseases is a full-time job in and of itself. It’s going to take unprecedented amounts of time, energy, and finances, from these first stages into the months and years to come.
Many of the people I did not know but knew about her condition prayed! so first, please pray! Second, please help!. There will be many costs now and throughout this process. Be assured that every dollar raised will be used for treatment and provision for our family. Our focus always is must be on Ava! She has a loving mom (me) and Grandma…life already has been tough.
Her Birthday was on January 2nd.
I appreciate you as you consider how you might be able to help this precious girl that is the only daughter and only Granddaughter, during the toughest time of OUR lives! Every act of Kindness counts!!!
Thank You! and Many Blessings to All!