Miki was 6 months old when problems began. It started initially with a simple cough, that degenerated into a more serious TB. For this little soul, life has been a long journey of in and out of the hospital. Medical expenses are draining his family’s resources of US$4/day, his condition a constant worry and distress for his young mother of 22.
“Mom, I know I am dying. What is the point of spending more money on chemotherapy when we know it will not make the cancer go away! Please save the money for a business you can start when I am no longer here.” These words, spoken with such wisdom from a 14 year-old, finally brought home the brutal reality of the battle that was lost, young hopes dashed.
Siti was the only child of a young couple from West Jakarta. She was first diagnosed with cancer in July 2007, a year after she had fallen in the shower while still learning to walk. According to Siti’s parents, the fall had resulted in a bad wound around her coccyx that never healed, and all bowel movements were increasingly obstructed and painful.
Lala, my daughter aged 6 and half, was diagnosed with advanced stage Neuroblastoma on January 12, 2009. In 2010, we became part of Rachel House’s family. This is our story.
Ananda was only six years old when he was diagnosed with HIV. Both his parents died before he reached his first birthday, victims of HIV, which they had unwillingly passed on to their son, leaving him in the care of his mother’s sister. Two months before his seventh birthday Ananda became increasingly unwell, and was shortly diagnosed with HIV.
Zaidin was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma in 2009 at Dharmais National Cancer Center. Since Zaidin’s mother passed away, his father had been his main caregiver – providing love and care for the boy.
Baz was 7 years old when he was first brought to our attention in February 2008. He had been sent home by his oncologist with poor prognosis of no more than a few months to live. He had neuroblastoma.
It all began when Siska came home from a 3-day camping trip with bad stomach pain and high fever. After multiple visits to doctors and alternative medicines, Siska was finally referred to Dharmais Cancer Centre where she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer with metastases to the kidney.
Netty was from Bengkulu. She wanted to go home to see the family that she had left behind 10 months before, when she and her parents came to Jakarta in search for treatment to battle her Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
Bayu was a cheerful and playful girl. Always singing and full of life. She was diagnosed with Retinoblastoma in her hometown, Magetan, a year before she arrived at Rachel House.