"Hello, my name is Igor and I am Ibai's brother, a child, and I say child because although he is 19 years old, he is still a child for us. Ibai has Down's syndrome and has been fighting for almost a year and, why not say it, winning the battle against an acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.
It all started on October 18th. Some days earlier, his teacher told us that she noticed something wasn't right: she saw he was very tired, without energy to do things... That day she called us and told us he was running a fever and that he was very pale. So we decided to take him to the outpatient's department and they gave us an appointment to take an urgent blood test on the next day. When we got home, we were feeling very worried so we took him to the San Eloy de Barakaldo Hospital's emergency room. They took a blood test and told us he was severely anaemic, but sent us home.
On the next, our surprise was a call from the Cruces Hospital, telling us they had received Ibai's blood test. They told us we had to go to the hospital to talk to the doctor and the news shocked us completely. It was acute lymphoblastic leukaemia and he had to be admitted immediately and start treatment with chemotherapy.
After 10 admissions, due to the treatment and several infections, on May 25th 2011 Ibai entered the reinduction phase of treatment. Ibai was very happy because he was being discharged and he could watch at home the final match of the Copa del Rey, played by his favourite team, Athletic de Bilbao. In Christmas, his heroes, Javi Martínez and Ander Herrera, were awesome and came visit my brother at the hospital.
Ibai, during Christmas, with his two heroes: Javi Martínez y Ander Herrera
They day they discharged him Ibai was very happy because he could go back home. That day marked a beginning and an end in my brother's illness. Fifteen days later he started the maintenance phase and he hasn't been admitted again in the hospital. Like I always say, he is gigantic and at the same time so little still! Ibai always had a smile and when he saw us sad, he always told us: "Don't worry, I'm fine." What a lesson has this little man given us!
Ibai, on May 25th, the day he was discharged
The haematologists have told us that, as soon as a year passes from the day of the diagnosis, they will stop treating him with the monthly chemo that they are still giving him and he will be able to go back to school, although he has spent a very normal summer in spite of the situation.
Our plan is this: go back to our normal life and enjoy the small things in life, which we never realize but are the most important. Greetings to my friends from the José Carreras Foundation, who in my worst moments have given me hope, thanks to this section!
Thank you and hugs for everyone!
Igor (Ibai's brother)