Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Today I said goodbye to Luc and Rachelle, who are both fighting Burkitts Lymphoma. Yesterday they both received a chemotherapy treatment at Hormel, the local pediatric hospital. We visited them at the hospital and brought the supplies (IV's, fluids, medications- in West Africa you buy supplies individually, bring your own, or simply receive no care) they will need for their treatments after we leave.
I have been following the Burkitts since July, when it was a group of four children. Now there are two.
At first, Luc responded well to the chemo, with the swelling above his eye almost completely subsiding. But the swelling is back. The cyclophosphamide isn't working. Suey, who manages there care, has been able to secure a second line of chemo that prayerfully will beat the cancer. Please pray that it does. His mother, Agilse, has watched Maddie die and is scared for Luc. Pray for her too.
Rachelle is do remarkably well. She travels a far distance (I believe it's four hours) for every treatment. Her family is simple, caring, and supportive. Pray there are no hindrances as she travels to Cotonou to receive her life-sustaining treatments.
Visiting these children and their families has been a highlight of my time here. I will never forget Maddie's sassy personality, Luc's zeal for life, and Rachelle's sweet spirit. It was sad to say goodbye today.
Please continue to pray for Luc and Rachelle. In a country plagued by medical mis-education, politics, and poverty, it's a miracle every time they come to the hospital and receive a chemo treatment.
I'm going to be praying too.