Hello my name is Pedro Martínez, I am 15 years old and I have leukaemia. On October 11th 2011 my life changed completely. My trainer realized that I was feeling very tired and that it wasn’t normal. They took a blood test in the morning and in the afternoon the doctor called us and said I had to be admitted in an isolation room of the Virgen de la Arrixaca Hospital, in Murcia.
From then on the doctors came and went, nurses, analysis, tests… until they diagnosed my illness, called acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, which I had no idea what it meant. I just knew that I was alone, that they came in with masks to see me and that I wasn’t able to see my family or friends, which I hated. The days were very long and I missed not being able to go to class and seeing my friends, who never left me alone and gave me a cell phone so that I could kid around with them and a guitar so that I wouldn’t get bored. They would wait in the hallway to see me or say hi when the door opened.
Pedro, with his mother, the first day in the hospital.
I am the young one of 12 siblings and I have 10 nephews. My mother stayed with me all day and during the night they made turns to stay and sleep with me. Every day I received the visit of one of my siblings telling me something new. That made the days different.
I needed a bone marrow donor from one of my siblings. I saw that they all wanted to be chosen but only one was compatible with me. Her name is Sara, she is 17 years old and she was incredibly happy, although she is not used to being in hospitals. The rest were content with giving as many platelets as I needed.
Pedro and Sara, his sister and bone marrow donor.
Little by little I saw how I changed physically, my hair started to fall out, my eyebrows and my eyelashes as well, but the toughest days were when I suffered from mucositis as an effect of the chemotherapy and the radiotherapy, as well as vomit and diarrhea. Nonetheless, despite everything, I feel that I haven’t been alone and that God has been with me at all times and very close by. During my illness, God has made my family and me become very close to one another, He has taught us to love each other as brothers and sisters and made us realize we have parents who would give their life for us and who transmit us faith. They haven’t stopped praying for me, even at midnight. During the month of the transplant we have been lucky enough (that is what my mother says) to receive communion daily and to pray every day.
Pedro, with his parents, during the treatment.
One of the best days was when, after two months of being in the hospital, they let me go home for 4 days. When I got there, there were posters and hopeful messages everywhere from all my family and friends. I missed being home, my bed, my sofa, being surrounded by my siblings watching TV.
I have been in three different rooms of the hospital and in all of them I had posters and pictures of my people, which have helped me overcome the illness and thanks to technology I have been able to SKYPE with my nephews every night and that has made me happy.
It has already been 3 months since the transplant and we go the hospital a lot to visit doctors, to take analysis, for medication… For now I feel fine and strong. I have started playing soccer and I can be with my friends, always outdoors.
Although it has been hard, I have been lucky enough to have teachers in the hospital who, from the beginning, encouraged me so that I wouldn’t miss 10th grade. I want to take this opportunity to thank them, as well as the doctors, nurses and auxiliaries who have been my angels and have made me smile during the toughest moments. I also want to thank my parents for giving me life and for being so strong during my illness, and all of my siblings who have been caring for me with a lot of love.
Thank you as well to all of those who have prayed for me and have given me hope with their words or their presents during these tough moments.
I hope that with my words I will be able to help other children who are sick and encourage them to fight against their illness".