Celebrating Remarkable Mothers

What would you do if your child was sick? Spend your life’s savings? Sleep under a tarp in a parking lot for months?  Walk through flooded fields infested with poisonous snakes to reach a hospital?

Mothers are fierce advocates for children’s care. These are all real examples of the lengths mothers in our programs have gone to in the hope of saving their children.

Unfortunately, despite their care and determination, some parents never even get a diagnosis for their child. Many of the 300,000 children with cancer worldwide never receive an accurate diagnosis, and die without treatment or effective pain relief.

This Mother's Day, help World Child Cancer equip our Mexico partner hospitals with proper diagnostic equipment and supplies.  Approximately 15,000 children are diagnosed with cancer every year in Mexico and 50% of those children will die from their cancer. 

Childhood cancer between the ages of 4–15 years represents the second leading cause of mortality in Mexico.  Every 4 hours a child with cancer dies in Mexico.  In sharp contrast, less than 20% of children will die from cancer in the US.  Accurate diagnostics tests and equipment are one of many essential pieces to improving outcomes for these children.  But YOU can help save their lives. 

Just $75,000 buys ophthalmoscopes (equipment to check patient’s vision/eyes) to help doctors find swelling, bleeding, as well the presence of some cancers and infections, simple blood pressure monitors, home use thermometers to help parents monitor for fever and other essential diagnostic tools  for hospitals in Pachuca and Oaxaca. Such a small contribution can make a significant impact on a child's life. 

Please join former U.S. Ambassador to Denmark, John Loeb, in support of this campaign and World Child Cancer's vision of world where no child suffers from cancer. 

 

 

Donate now, and help remarkable mothers and children in Mexico!

 

DONATE NOW

 

  • $30,000 will buy diagnostic kits (opthalmoscopes, blood pressure cuffs, manometers) for Pachucha hospitals.

  • $20,000 will buy diagnostic kits for Oaxaca hospitals.

  • $10,000 funds the salary of one of our program doctors for one year.

  • $5,000 will provide basic radiotherapy treatment for five children. 

  • $1,000 will provide basic chemotherapy for one child.

  • $500 will provide basic antifungal/antibiotic treatment for one child. 

 

1. Lucia and Maria

Like many nine-year-olds around the world, Lucia had a zest for life  -- but that all changed in 2015 with a cancer diagnosis. After complaining of headaches and pains in her legs, Lucia’s mother, Maria, took her on a five-hour journey to Hospital de la Niñez Oaxaqueña (HNO). Following an initial examination, medical staff diagnosed Lucia with growing pains. A young child who was tall for her age, Lucia returned home, but her condition continued to worsen.
Over the following three months, Lucia and Maria made several trips back and forth to the hospital, which came at a great expense to the family. A determined mother, Maria could sense her daughter was suffering from more than growing pains. A blood test eventually showed Lucia had developed the most common form of childhood cancer; acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
 
Just $100 could have paid for Lucia to receive an early diagnosis that would have saved her from severe ongoing pain, and saved her family from being pushed further into poverty through expensive travel and drug costs.
 
Because Lucia and María have to journey several hours from their home village to the hospital, they stay at a family hostel at HNO. With the family having to borrow money to pay for antibiotics, the family hostel is a vital part of the hospital’s infrastructure.  World Child Cancer trains healthcare workers in developing countries to recognize the early warning sign of childhood cancer by forming twinning partnerships with healthcare professionals in the developed world.
 
 

2. Lupe and Miguel

Lupe thought she and her son Miguel were in the clear. Though Miguel had been diagnosed with Leukemia when he was 7, the 11 year old boy had been happy and healthy for over 4 years. Lupe was absolutely terrified when when he developed a high fever and loss of appetite, the exact symptoms he had had before his initial diagnosis. Fortunately, since Lupe knew what to look for, she immediately took her son to Hospital de la Niñez Oaxaqueña (HNO), a World Child Cancer Hospital 8 hours from their home in rural Mexico.
 
Lupe is devastated at Miguel’s relapse. As well as the obvious pain of her child redeveloping cancer, the family is under severe financial strain at having to repeatedly make the eight-hour long journey from home to the hospital. Lupe is losing out on vital income while not working, leaving the family with limited money to buy essential medicines for Miguel’s treatment.
 
To cut down on the expense of travel so they can afford more medication, Lupe has decided to leave her other four children at home and live in the World Child Cancer family hostel at HNO. Without the family hostel, Miguel and his mother would have nowhere to stay while he receives treatment.
 
Lupe says that above all, her biggest fear is losing her child. Every sacrifice, hardship and effort else pales in comparison to this monumental fear.
 

3. Lesli

Lesli is 12 years old, and is currently being treated for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia at a World Child Cancer site in Mexico. During the maintenance phase of chemotherapy, Lesli developed Mucormycosis, a rare but frequently fatal fungal infection among pediatric cancer patients. Mucor is commonly found in the environment, and lives in soil, leaves, decaying wood products and other organic materials. Everyone breathes in these fungal spores routinely, and for most of us with healthy immune systems, this fungus poses no harm.

But for children receiving chemotherapy these infections are serious threats.  While chemotherapy is undeniably effective in treating childhood cancer, it is accompanied by a host of complications.  One of those complications is a low white blood cell count (the cells that protect us from infections) which places the patient at risk for serious and life threatening fungal infections. This complication most often affects patients with leukemia. Mucormycosis can affect any organ in the body but it most frequently invades the lungs, sinuses and brain.  It rapidly develops and quickly invades affected organs and can spread to organs in the body if not treated. Mortality rates range from 50 to 70% when a cancer patient develops this infection. It is uniformly fatal if not treated with antifungal therapy such as Amphotericin B.
Lesli’s mother was part of the World Child Cancer parent support group, and knew the risks of secondary infection. Fortunately Lesli was able to receive the antifungal therapy she needed, and is now doing well.
 

About the author

Marian Pulford

Marian