“Anastazja was only 8 months old when our life revolved around what she ate and whether she slept well. We loved our first games together and we enjoyed her every attempt to sit and crawl. We also waited until she was a little older; we dreamed of traveling with her, showing her the world and meeting new people. We knew that our daughter, with her temper would conquer the world! We did not expect, however, that she would soon be a little warrior.
A small lump
I can’t hide the fact that the first doctors’ diagnoses did not cause much anxiety in us. Everything had started with a small protuberance on her back and preliminary research suggested it was a fibroma or hemangioma. We were informed that we did not even need to go through an operation, because the child would only suffer needlessly, and she would have a scar on her innocent body.
However, we wanted to be 100% sure that the tumour wouldn’t develop, and it was not aggressive. Therefore, we referred to an oncologist to discover that he wanted us to take Anastazja to hospital. After further investigation, we were devastated when the X-rays showed such a large tumour.
Actually, it was the size of an adult male’s fist (83x53x70 mm)!!! At the same time, we discovered the cancer had already made the first ravages on the body of our little daughter. It had moved the esophagus by 2 cm and penetrated into the nerve channel at the height of the thoracic vertebrae! Doctors immediately decided to give Anastazja one block from the COJEC procedure to prevent tumour growth, because the compression of the spinal cord was very strong. After a week, it was not visible anymore, but it was just the beginning of a hard fight with a huge and malicious opponent!
One of the worst and most malignant tumours, mainly targeting young children
Neuroblastoma, a type of cancer that forms in certain types of nerve tissue, was already at an advanced stage (stage IV) in Anastazja. We immediately wrote to the National Consultant for Neuroblastoma – Prof. Dr hab. Walentyna Balwierz from Krakow to allow Anastazja to begin to be treated in accordance with the SIOPEN protocol (8 blocks of chemistry with an extension of two blocks, thoracic tumour surgery and mass excision from the dorsal muscle).
After the first operation, we were extremely happy because we thought we had managed to fight the tumour. Unfortunately, our baby had to go through a second operation which we were devastated about because it turned out that the tumour on her back was “young”, with active cancer cells.
Professor W. Balwierz decided to give our Angel two more blocks of chemo which totally devastated her body. As if all of this was not enough, Anastazja also underwent radiation therapy. In total she had 14 doses of it!
This month we have received great news!
There is one more chance to save our daughter from the development of this monstrous disease! Anastazja has been qualified for immunotherapy with anti-GD2 antibodies. As of today, it is one of the most effective treatments for Neuroblastoma.
Two years ago, this method was funded in Poland by NFZ (Poland’s equivalent of our NHS). However, the NFZ stopped paying for it.
We have to raise 656,672.40 Polish zlotych (approx 130 000 GBP) by November 2018. This is a lot of money for us and we have very little time, but we are determined! What parent would not be, when they know that failing to do so would mean condemning their beloved child to death?
Instead of living a carefree childhood, Anastazja has lived in a nightmare world of hospitals, medicines and operations. However, despite everything she smiles, has a lot of positive energy and shows how much she wants to live!
Our only dream is that the cancer moves out of our lives once and for all. This is possible, if you are able to support us in this fight!”
Gabrysia and Tomek
Bank transfer detailsFundacja Mam serce ul. Szturmowa 9 lok. 4 02-678 Warsaw Bank name: Millennium Bank Account no: 26 1160 2202 0000 0001 6899 7325 Transfer title: Anastazja Okonska
Thanks to great commitment of family, friends, our foundation’s donators and siepomaga platform’s users. We were able to collect the entire amount needed to cover the cost of the girls treatment.
33 000 GBP