It was a monday morning, just briefly after midnight in late January when it happened. At first it didn't look like a big thing... just a bleeding nose. Nothing to worry about, right? Well, another 30 minutes passed and no matter what we tried the bleeding simply didn't stop. Alright... maybe it's just a bursted vein that needs to be sealed, so off to the hospital...
Four hours later we got the diagnosis: Leukemia!
We hear stories about (blood) cancer all the time, but usually it's something that only happens to other people. Well, usually... suddenly your whole world trembles and your priorities shift and you realize that there's an invisible enemy threatening the life of your child!
Fast forward to today it's astonishing to realize how people adjust to circumstances and how routines kick-in. It's months now that we know that our 5 year-old daughter is up for a fight against acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), yet... once you find yourself with the back to the wall there's only one way to go: forward!
These days, my family takes comfort knowing that our daughter is in the hands of capable doctors & caring nurses and surrounded by kids that share a common fate. Outsiders would be surprised to experience the atmosphere at the oncological station: life-affirming optimism, strong support & heart-felt caring and a sense of empathy creating a unique community.
The fact that we all fight a common enemy creates a bond between medical staff, patients and their families that helps to keep going - knowing that you're not alone in this and that together we can - and will - make it!
But this is not a story about my daughter or my family. In fact, I never imagined writing about all this in public until this morning. Yet, today is World Blood Cancer Day and while talking about this fact with my wife & my daughter this morning we came to the conclusion that it may be good idea to do so... For someone fighting Leukemia a stem cell donation may be the only chance to make it! And it's so simple to register as a donor... and eventually save a life!
Having told my daughter about all this she encourages us to share her story hoping that more people would help kids like her and so here I am - on her behalf - sharing her story with you....
If you are interested to learn more about blood cancer and how-to help please find some preliminary information below:
- [Germany] http://www.dkms.de/en/worldbloodcancerday
- [USA] http://www.deletebloodcancer.org/home.html
- [Australia] Australian Bone Marrow Donor Registry
Those who feel an urge for action should be able to find information online about how-to become a stem cell donor or other ways to help in your respective country. It's just a small step, but it can make all the difference. Today is World Blood Cancer Day and it's a day to make your mark....