In September of 2016, Alejandro was taken to the ER with a very strong headache. A couple of hours later, he lost consciousness and had to have emergency brain surgery. A bleeding tumor was removed from the left side of his brain. The diagnosis was Pleomorphic Xanthroastocitoma. After his first brain surgery, Alejandro woke up without being able to walk, talk, eat by himself nor move the right side of his body. He basically only moved his eyes. With a whole cycle of radiotherapy, months of physical and speech therapy, the faithful prayers of so many people and the loving dedication of his parents, Alejandro was able to recover his speech and most of the movement of his right side.
Unfortunately, in March of 2017, an MRI showed that Alejandro had a brain tumor that was growing quickly. In April, his neurological symptoms came back. He had to have a second surgery that removed 80% of a new mass the doctors called Glioblastoma Multiforme, grade IV of the WHO, the most highly malignant brain cancer that exists, rare in children. This is the saddest news a parent ever might want to receive about their child's health. At that time, the financial crisis of my brother’s family started with my sister-in-law losing her job because of having to stay in Bogota for a month for Alejandro’s second surgery and recovery.
Soon after the second surgery, in June, Alejandro’s symptoms came back for the third time, he started declining, not speaking clearly, losing part of his short term memory, his ability to move the right side of his body, and having terrible headaches. MRIs showed that his tumor grew 10 cm between April 20th and June 5th. His oncologists declared that Alejandro's time was over and that they did not have any therapeutic treatment to offer him.
In the last month, a new hope appeared for Alejandro. My brother learned about a non-conventional medication called Ukrain, that has some scientific support in Europe and the USA. It is expensive and not covered by his health insurance. Accompanied with a special diet and a number of homeopathic medications, it seems to be working for him. The tumor has not shown growth in the last 30 days.
Based on an MRI from July 4th, his neurosurgeon recommended to continue giving my nephew this medication.
Alejandro needs physical therapy to help him recover the mobility of his right hand and leg, and also, speech therapy for helping him being able to communicate. Him and his parents need psychological support. This professional help is not covered by his insurance, or only partially covered.
Thanks to the generous and humane donations of some of our friends and family, Alejandro was able to have the first cycle of this alternative treatment. The solidarity has been enormous. However, more donations and support are needed in this difficult moment when traditional medicine and the health system is not giving this child a chance that him and his parents deserve to have. He will need to receive at least, other 8 cycles of the medication.
I thank you for reading this message and would appreciate your prayers, good energy and if possible, your donation that will be entirely used for covering Alejandro’s ongoing treatment and therapies for his glioblastoma.
- Mark Ruddy
- Catalina Tobar
- Edison Javier Caicedo Gonzalez
- Carolina Silva
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