August 2009

"Hello everybody,
First of all, congratulations to everyone who writes on this great forum for your great work. You are like a family to which I am proud to belong.

My name is Enrique, I'm 43 and father to an acute lymphoblastic leukaemia patient. My daughter is called Ariadna, she's an 18 year old History student. She writes a lot better than I do but she says she is not inspired. Later she will be.

Our war against leukaemia began one terrible day; 14th May 2009, so we are practically at the beginning of this obstacle race. We will keep going until we reach our goal: a cure.

As I previously said, Ariadna is a student, a friend to her friends (who incidentally, are helping her a lot) and a Barcelona football club fanatic.

Paciente Ariadna camp nou

It was March and everything was normal: in the morning she went to class and in the afternoon she gave revision classes in order to pay for her long desired trip to London to support Barca (Chelsea-Barcelona).

At the end of the month the first symptoms of the illness started. We, of course, had no idea of what was to come later. She arrived home feeling really tired and went to bed as soon as she could. Lydia, my wife, and I were starting to worry. What was happening to our little girl? We talked to her and came to the conclusion that it was all an accumulation of various factors: university exams, extra work giving classes and anxiety about the trip to London. General stress.

The beginning of May brought more of the same. The longed for day arrived and she went to London with a friend. She had everything planned: Visit the main tourist sites, hotel, plane tickets and tickets for the match. She had a great time and the result was great as well. All was well except for one thing; her strength was running out.
On the 7th I went to get her from the airport and she looked unwell: tired and her arms were bruised. It looked as though she had played in the match. Arriving home I talked to my wife and decided to take her to the doctor the following day. The doctor told us not to worry, that it could be a bit of
anaemia and he programmed a blood test for 27th May. Ariadna was furious: "The 27th is the final of the Champions league against Manchester" and obviously she was hoping to go to Rome. We convinced her that her health came first and that she could watch the match on television at home. We didn't get the medium wrong, just the place, as we ended up watching the match in the hospital room.

As the days went by she felt worse. She was totally exhausted, had more bruises all over her body and didn't want to eat, so we went back to the doctor to move the blood test forward.

I was at work on the day of the test when my wife rang me in the afternoon to tell me that the results were not very good and we had to go as quickly as possible to the hospital. I left everything and rushed home. My daughter's face was a story: she didn't understand it at all; she had never been ill before and had always been full of strength and vitality.

When we arrived at the A & E department the haematologist on duty saw us and it was there that the hard reality of the situation became clear. The diagnostic was clear: "your daughter has acute leukaemia, go up to the room and tomorrow the haematology team will give you more information". It was midnight and we couldn't believe it. It was the worst night of my life. Questions were going round and round my head with no possible answers: why my daughter? What had gone wrong? What would happen now? etc.

In the morning the haematology department confirmed the diagnosis and calmed us down as much as possible: you have to fight but there is a cure.

Paciente Ariadna bandana

As of today we can tell you that Ariadna has just finished her second round of chemotherapy without problems and her morale is intact. She is a candidate for an allogeneic transplant. Her brother Oriol, aged 6, is not compatible and the other day my wife and I did the tests. The search for bone marrow has begun through the Bone Marrow Donor's registry of the José Carreras Foundation and now we have to wait.

Ariadna's plan as of today is to get back to her studies as soon as possible, enjoy her life with her friends and family and above all to see a Barca match in the Camp Nou again.

I'd like to take the opportunity to thank some people for their collaboration and help: The Josep Carreras Foundation, the medical team at the Mutua hospital in Terrassa (Dr Marti Tutusaus, Dra Muntañola and Dra Vall-Llobera), the nurses and assistants on the eleventh floor, the Oncolliga in Terrassa, our family, especially her grandfather Josep, her university friends, the UAB teachers, friends in general, Tater's and everybody who participates on the Foundation's forum and in the blogs, to blood and bone marrow donors, and to Irena.

Thank you so much, everyone.


If you want to follow Ariadna's story, you can visit her blog by clicking HERE. You also can read an interview with her HERE.

Help people like Ariadna by becoming a member of the cure for leukaemia and haematological malignacies, HERE.  You will help us to continue our research so that one day these diseases will be 100% curable.  With only a little you can do so much. Thank you!

Find out more about bone marrow donation, HERE 

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