THE SMALL STORY OF AN OPTIMISTIC FIGHTER
Lorena with Iker Casillas
"Hello, my name is Lorena. I would like to tell you my story. Everything started one weekend in September 2003 when I started feeling nausea, with chills and a fever. My mother decided to take me to the doctor who said that nothing was wrong, that I only had to eat more. When we arrived home, I fell on the floor in the lift, with my eyes completely white. My mom was very scared and didn't understand anything so we went to another doctor who said it was a virus, the typical seasonal virus that all children go through. My mother did not pay attention to this doctor and decided to take me to the hospital. There, they detected emotional stress, because my parents were separated. At that moment my mother didn't understand anything at all so she asked them to carry out a blood test because nobody wanted to. When they did do it, there were some abnormal results and they had to repeat it. The doctors told my mother these exact words: "Madam, just hope that it's Leukaemia." Her face changed completely as if to say "how am I supposed to ask for such a thing?" And, unfortunately, that was my diagnosis.
Immediately after, I was admitted into the hospital, to a floor full of teddy bears and women with white suits, a floor where children didn't have hair and where I asked myself why they were so many "baldies" and if I was going to be like that too. My mother didn't know how to answer my questions but as the chemotherapy went on there was more and more hair in my comb. I got tired of that and of how much my head itched so I decided to have it shaved off, but not before going through a process of anger fits and weeping. My doctor brought me a girl with very nice long blonde hair who told me not to worry, that it would grow back again, but I didn't care: I only wanted my beautiful long black hair down to my waist, which ended up in the bin in the blink of an eye. My grandmother said that I looked like a soldier. She didn't like seeing me like that but she did try to cheer me up. It was truly hard. Its touching that so many people came to see you, people you never thought would come, but they do. You live through very bad moments that, unfortunately, you remember as if they were yesterday, but you also remember the great moments experienced in hospital. These moments are so great that they cover up the bad moments.
The doctors say one thing and then it's the other; they say you're going home and that same day they take you back to the ER because your life is leaving their hands. However, with strength and a lot of happiness, along with an ignorance of the situation, EVERYTHING can be conquered and, because of that, I am here, telling you my story.
Little by little everything goes back to normal and there are many cases of people close to you, and people not so close to you who fall into the same situation. Then, you find yourself giving all your support, not through obligation, but through desire. It is important that they continue on the path they have been building day after day, in order for them to continue and fight for their lives.
Luckily, I am here today with a normal life but there is not a day that goes by in which I don't wake up and think of the nightmare I lived for two and a half years. It's something you never forget and from which you learn a whole lot.
I would like to thank ASION (Asociación Infantil Oncológica) of the Comunidad de Madrid and FEPNC (Federación Española de Padres de Niños con Cáncer) [both Spanish associations and federations of children or parents of children with cancer], who have helped me see what life is and how to value it. Thanks also to my little baldies, who I met through the two aforementioned institutions. Together, we are many fighters around the world and that everything is possible. Of course, I cannot forget to thank all the nurses and the solitary male nurse in the oncology ward on the sixth floor of the La Paz Hospital.
I would like to encourage all those people who are suffering this illness and to all those who are around them. Baldies, I love you!!!!
Here I leave you a picture of when I was ill with my friend Iker and another with a plaque in memory of Paul Newman, which is of great meaning for me. Kisses for all!"
Lorena, in Ireland, next to a plaque in memory of Paul Newman
Help people like Lorena 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