We had been waiting for Maya for a very long time. The day she had finally arrived turned our lives from bleak to incredibly colorful in an instant. During her first year she had been a picture of health. She had literally come down with the cold a single time and that was it. We were looking forward to each new day, delighting in they way Maya grew and how she was developing, we celebrated her first birthday blissfully and had planned for the longest holidays since either of us can remember, together with a few short, autumn breaks for hiking and mushroom-gathering.
Summer had come and with it the time of our long-awaited holidays in the Masurian lake district. It was there that Maya came down with Roseola, the classic ‘three-day fever’. As is often the case during times of illness Maya did not cope well with solids, so we had reverted back to mom’s milk. She had lost weight and with it much of her strength and energy, she had become apathetic. To make matters worse Maya had suddenly suffered from an eye inflammation condition which had lasted for much longer than the few days we had been expecting it to. We had started wandering from doctor to doctor, from clinic to the ER, only to finally be admitted to hospital.
Reason of admission: eye inflammation and eating disorder.
The Squint misfortune
We were told that our stay at the hospital would not be a long one, however none of the treatments Maya had undergone seemed to be improving her condition. The doctors were trying to diagnose the cause, switching from one antibiotic to another, which led only to Mayas tears – she cried at the sight of yet another pill, the needle, the nurses… Her only happy moments during our stay at the hospital had been the times we spent looking through pictures of Eos – her best dog friend and companion.
Then one day, without an apparent reason, Maya started to Squint. This had worried the doctors considerably. A plethora of specialists, an MRS scan and diagnosis was drawn, like a bolt out of the blue – a tumor in her head.
Try to imagine what happens in the hearts and minds of parents faced with such a calamity… and that had only been the beginning. At the oncology ward we had been presented with a more precise initial diagnosis: malignant neoplasm. Cancer. For some time we had been surrounded by uncertainty as the malignancy had been situated in such a part of the head that it had proven difficult to acquire a sample via biopsy in order to diagnose the condition more precisely. Mayas tears had been joined by a torrent of those of her parent’s… and even more of her own. The girl did not understand the commotion that had suddenly become her day-to-day life – why wasn’t she allowed to eat and had to be on an empty stomach so often, away from Mom. Why were there strangers that were constantly touching her and causing her discomfort and pain. Why was Mom, even if she had been allowed to be there with her, watching her through eyes drowned with tears? Why couldn’t she hear anything with her right ear anymore?
New Hope: The beginning of Maya’s Army
After three weeks at the oncology ward and a month of hospitalization overall we had been left with a set of contradictory pieces of information and diagnosis. The tumor may be malignant, but this is not necessarily the case. What is it that we know for certain? There is an abnormality growing in the nasal and temporal parts of Maya’s skull. In order to acquire a detailed and accurate diagnosis a specialized biopsy is required, however due to the difficult placement of the abnormality, near the aorta – the main artery in the head, no one in Poland had carried out such a biopsy successfully as of yet. There is hope, however: specialized and experienced clinics in France and Germany carry out similar biopsies and have had success in treating similar conditions. That is Maya’s hope.
Maya’s Army is an informal association of family, friends and acquaintances and I’d like to invite You to become part of this gathering. Donations, prayer, sharing this information – there are many ways in which you can help and support Maya.
Time is of the essence, however. The smaller this abnormality stays, the less damage it will cause. That is why we are hurriedly trying to raise funds for the biopsy and subsequent treatment of Maya’s condition. Please join us, donate, share or simply support us with a kind word. Help Maya remember what it is to smile, laugh and lead a happy life once more. She had shed enough tears already.