Carlos, leukaemia former patient
Letter from maría, Carlos's mother, to the Foundation:
"In July 1995, my 20 month old son Carlos was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in the Materno Infantil Hospital in Malaga. Doctors immediately began the process of chemotherapy, which included some bitter side effects, but it was also the beginning of the road to turn desperation into hope. I remember my first impulse when I got home after the first period in the hospital, was to call the Carreras Foundation. I think that I needed “someone” to tell me that “it’s all ok, don’t worry, the doctors in Màlaga are going to do the same as anywhere else in the world: start the treatment and wait for the results”. I have no words to express the gratitude that I felt for the incredible way that they answered my desperate call.
Then, during the long periods of hospitalisation you find a new family, the “hairless” family. Between each other a special environment is created, the occupant of the bed next to you can tell and understand what you are going through, with a mere glance. There in the hospital, we are in our own world, outside, the other world waits. Carlos was recovering without the need to have a transplant, but we were living together with other families who were waiting that in any given moment someone would say “we have a bone marrow”. It is difficult to wait, with feelings of hope and despair. For this reason, when we had the opportunity, his father and I decided to become bone marrow donors. At that time, the number of donors was much less than it is now and so we thought about an action plan: if for each leukaemia patient there were 10 donors, the results could be encouraging. At first it didn’t look like this plan would be too difficult. There are always family members and friends who support a patient that can raise awareness and much more so when the need for a transplant arrives. In our case we have managed to persuade 5 people so far to become donors and although time has moved on I never fail to leap at the opportunity to present my idea when I have the chance. We are in 2009, and almost 9 years since Carlos was discharged we now live in Tenerife. He is no longer the little boy who thought that he couldn’t leave his room because “the fish in the games room fish tank have a fever.” Today he has turned into a active teenager, with lots of plans and above all a desire for life and fun. To all those who are ill “Keep your head up” and to their families “an eternal smile”; their quality of life is in our hands and our hope is in theirs. Thank you to the José Carreras Foundation, its existence opens the doors to the world.
Regards from Tenerife,
Become a member of the cure for leukaemia and other haematological malignancies, HERE
Find out more about bone marrow donation, HERE