Five-year old Darek, his mom Veronika and his twin brother Denis live in Břeclav. Last year, Darek was diagnosed with leukemia and is now undergoing treatment at the Teaching Hospital in Brno. Dareček and his mom wrote a letter to the Good Angels:
My name is Darek, and together with my brother, I was born in October 2009 in my mother’s 29th week of pregnancy. I was 39 cm long and weighed in at 1.45 kg. I am five now, and until last April, I attended kindergarten with my brother and was as healthy as can be. Apart from an occasional cold, I was a perfectly healthy boy.
In late April, I broke my arm, and they had to put a cast on it. And that’s how it all started. I was quite tired, sleepy, and I couldn’t really enjoy anything, and I kept running a fever. I developed small bruises, and nodes on my neck, which looked like mosquito bites. The teachers at my school pointed out the change in my behavior to my mom, and recommended that she take me to see a doctor and have a blood sample drawn. My mom took the blood to a hematology lab, and within an hour, she had a phone call that she had to take me to Brno, where the diagnosis was confirmed. I mean that I have acute lymphoblastic leukemia. It was a massive shock for my mom and the whole family. I did not really understand the situation, and that is still the case. I just know that mom and I have to go to hospital, where they give me some drugs so that I can get better soon, and go back to kindergarten, and not be held back from doing anything that I used to do before…
Since I am a strong boy, I’ve been handling the treatment without serious complications. My mom has been very helpful, and so has my brother Denis, who seems to have the hardest time dealing with the situation, poor dear. When I was really bad and had to spend more than a week in hospital, my brother would have to stay with an aunt or with our grandma. He always cried, because he felt very homesick.
We are like one person; we do everything together. We love to play with Lego, puzzles, beads, we paint, play football, ride balance bicycles… But our very favorite activity is getting up to mischief and fighting… When my brother is at kindergarten and I’m home, it is quiet, and I use the time to watch fairy tales or Czech films. I like Postman Pat, Fireman Sam… And of Czech films, I like Četnické humoresky, Vesničko má středisková and films with Luděk Sobota… But it is getting quite boring, and I can’t wait to go back to school with the other kids. I am very social and make friends instantly. I miss children a lot…
In April, I will have done one year of treatment, and I firmly believe that all the bad stuff is behind me and that things will start getting better, although I know my treatment will still run for a year more.
P.S.: I will beat this nasty disease. I won’t give up and I’ll fight till the end… “
Little Zita lives with her father and kid brother in a family house in Jindřichův Hradec. In 2011, a terrible fate befell the family. In July, they learned about Zita’s serious illness, and in October, Zita’s mom, who was also suffering from cancer, passed away.
The Good Angels have been helping this family since November 2011, when the endowment fund started operating. Zita’s father, who is already retired himself, is taking care of both children, financing everything out of his retirement pension and social benefits. And yet, so much is needed – this year, the heating system in the house had to be repaired and a new boiler bought, because children who have undergone treatment for cancer need to be kept warm at all times. Zita also needs better quality food, and there are costs of treatment and check-ups at a hospital far away.
In May 2012, we received very good news from the family – Zita goes for regular checkups at Motol Hospital, and the results are very good. She is attending Grade 8 at primary school, and sent us a picture for Good Angels. Her father, Václav, logged into the system and added a brief note of thanks:
“Your help has been incredibly important to us in order to be able to handle our situation successfully. Thank you!”
In September 2012, Magdalénka turned one. Magdalénka lives in Prague with her mom, dad and elder brother Matěj. During the first year of her life, Madlenka had to cope with problems that most people will not face in a lifetime. In February 2012, when the little girl was less than six months old, doctors diagnosed her with acute leukemia. She thus spent a great part of her first year in hospital with her mom. The brave little girl fought her illness valiantly, and is now “only” undergoing maintenance therapy. Magdalénka’s mother sent a letter to the Good Angels:
“Hello to all the angels. I’ve been meaning to send our great thanks to all of you for a long time – not only for your financial support, which makes our situation much easier, but also for striving to support all of the families who suddenly find themselves in such a difficult situation.
Our Madlenka fell sick at 5 months of age, when acute leukemia crept up on her, and I would not wish the horror we’ve been through on anyone. The beginning is dreadful indeed, but hopefully the worst is behind us now! Madlenka has completed 5 difficult rounds of chemotherapy, and we are starting with maintenance therapy now. In the meantime, she has turned into a beautiful little girl with a permanent smile on her face. On September 8, 2012, we celebrated her first birthday (we did not even dare to hope we would get to celebrate it together).
We are slowly catching up on the time lost over the last six months, Madlenka is beginning to crawl, and we delight in every bit of progress. As a mom, I live with the terrifying knowledge that this horrible disease likes to come back, but I have to be strong. When I see my beautiful little girl fighting so hard for each and every beautiful day, I must keep up the fight as well, which goes without saying!
We wish you beautiful days and good health first and foremost!!! That’s the most important thing! I’m attaching a few photos, so that you can see just what a little angel you’ve been sheltering under your wings!
Thank you very much once again, Magdalénka D. and her entire family”
I would like to share with you the image of a friendship formed in hospital beds and in a truly difficult period.Samuel (5) (dark T-shirt), diagnosis: acute lymphoblastic leukemia; Kubík (3.5) (light blue T-shirt), diagnosis: acute lymphoblastic leukemia affecting the CNS.
The two boys met at Masaryk Hospital in Ústí in the Intermedia Department, where they were both undergoing aggressive chemotherapy. Although they were separated for a short while, when Kubík was hospitalized in the Oncology Department of Motol Hospital, their friendship continues still today, when they are undergoing maintenance therapy and only come to the hospital to give blood samples and to receive their drugs and chemotherapy.
And these pictures were taken at the hematology clinic last week when the boys met again. It was a truly hilarious meeting, and the whole hospital surely heard the great shouts of joy in their greeting, and the crying when they parted.
I am adding a few pictures taken at the hospital when the boys felt better and could spend time together. The boys brought their very favorite toys with them to have something to play with while waiting for the results. And of course, what’s mine is yours. They never forget about each other, and always bring something good to eat to share, and they brag about whose hair has gotten longer since the last visit, and who was braver when the nurse was drawing the blood sample. And they are busy planning the first possible visit, and can’t wait to spend a few days together again.
They seem to really miss the moments when they could get out of their beds, spend some time together, and get up to mischief. The moments when you see them side by side, playing and running, are incredible precious. When you remember how dreadful they looked just a few months ago in their hospital beds while undergoing aggressive chemotherapy, your heart leaps for joy when you see them now. It doesn’t matter that they are wearing masks and still have to observe certain restrictions, because at that particular moment, they are like other children, at least a bit, and their undiminished thirst for life is so great that you feel revitalized and able to continue fighting this nasty disease.
Both boys still need to have a year of maintenance therapy, and we, the mothers, firmly believe that they will be cured once that is over, because there is no other option!
Both Samík and Kubík have been receiving assistance from you, Good Angels, and we, their moms, are infinitely grateful to you. We are both single moms, and it is quite difficult to find the money to pay for everything when the state gives us virtually nothing. Therefore, your selfless help is very important to us and helps us keep our heads above water. We are both very touched, and our great thanks are inadequate in light of your support. THANK YOU VERY MUCH, you all have our greatest respect, because it is absolutely amazing that there are so many good people who want to help strangers who find themselves in a difficult situation. And we would also like to thank the Good Angel endowment fund for taking us under its wings, and all of the staff, who put us in touch with you, the Good Angels.
When Jiřina, whose 4-year old Davídek developed acute leukemia, applied to GOOD ANGEL for assistance, she wrote to us: “We would like to thank all of the Good Angels for their support. Life sometimes takes a completely different course than you would like, and you need angels at such times. And as our 4-year old son’s leukemia unfortunately is not the only illness in our family, your support helps us bring a bit of sunshine and the sorely needed little pleasures back to everyday life. We really appreciate that – thank you! P.S.- When things get better again (and we hope and trust they will soon), we will join your ranks and send the sunshine onward…”
Now, in late 2012, Jiřina asked us to discontinue the support, and she became a GOOD ANGEL and wrote to us again:
Dear Good Angels,
Thank you for your support over the last few months. My son Davídek is currently undergoing maintenance therapy (for acute leukemia), and I started working part-time last month. Our situation is therefore better now. I was busy with all the changes and failed to respond in time, so I am returning the last contribution received from you. Let it help someone else. Thank you for your help – it means a lot to us, not only because it boosted our family budget, but because it meant psychological support. Knowing that, even in these economically challenging times, there were people willing to help brought a little sunshine into our otherwise gloomy days.
Once again, I and my whole family would like to thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
And as our situation has improved, and we hope and believe it will remain that way and we will not need your help any longer, we are hereby joining the Good Angels and will be sending the assistance onwards. I enclose a picture of our brave “angelic little devil”.
Jiřina with Davídek and family
The contribution so returned will help another family in which their mother needs to buy special plaster for over CZK 3,000 (not reimbursed by the health insurance company) as part of her son’s oncological therapy.
Pavlína lives alone with her sons in Opava. Before she was diagnosed with a serious illness, breast cancer, she worked at a freezing plant. She is currently on sick leave, and the whole family lives on benefits alone. Both her sons are at secondary school. Her elder son dropped out of school to be able to find a job and contribute to the family budget. However, at the same time, he is taking care of his little daughter, Pavlína’s first grandchild.
Pavlína completed her chemotherapy cycle and underwent surgery in early January. She has been fighting her illness bravely, although, as she says, “this illness is a long-term matter, but I will not give up without a fight, if only because of my sons, my granddaughter and all the nice people around me.”
“I would like to thank all the Good Angels for their hearts, because it is only their big hearts that make this project possible, so that it can continue and provide the much needed help. I would like to wish you much happiness from the bottom of my heart, and as soon as I am cured, I would be honored to join your ranks and also help those in need.♥ Thank you.”
Sixteen-year old Kamil was diagnosed with acute leukemia this April. The 3rd year high school student and motor cross lover was hospitalized immediately and had to give up his hobbies. He hopes this is only temporary. He is currently still undergoing therapy.
Kamil wrote to us: “Up until April, I was a regular 16-year old guy, enjoying life to the fullest, and never thinking that life could have any such pitfalls in store for somebody as young as me. I had to be separated from my loved ones, my love, and in particular my beloved motor-cross. What keeps me above water is the hope that I will return home for good soon. The illness does not affect just me, but it concerns and greatly affects my entire family. I am truly grateful to you. Your help is great support in my situation. Thank you!”
Iva lives with her little daughter, Vendulka, in Ostrava. In July 2010, Vendulka was diagnosed with a very serious illness, acute leukemia. Vendulka is currently undergoing maintenance therapy at the Teaching Hospital in Ostrava.
Vendulka is a clever little girl, who likes to draw, “with anything on anything”, as her mom says, and likes various puzzles and crossword puzzles, because she can now write letters and numbers. She also likes to work with clay and to embroider.
And what is her message to you, the Good Angels?
“First and foremost, I would like to thank you for your assistance, because it is more of a rarity in this time and day. Most people only think of themselves, and are indifferent to the plight of others. When my daughter fell sick, I was going through a divorce at the same time, and had to hand in my notice to be able to take care of my daughter and stay with her during her frequent hospital stays. The world and everything else just came crashing down around me, and I was beside myself with worry about my daughter. I only calmed down a little when I discovered we were not alone in this, and we have been sticking together with the other moms and helping one another as much as possible. What can I say in conclusion? The world needs a lot more GOOD ANGELS! Thank you. Mom Iva with Vendulka”
Kryštůfek’s leukemia appeared when he turned three, when he was about to start kindergarten and I was looking for a job. I am a single mother, and both my elder sons were going to school at the time, so money was an issue. Social benefits were and remain our only financial income. Leukemia, that was the diagnosis… and you think to yourself, why my little boy of all people, why can’t he stay healthy… after all, my other two sons are also sick. My eldest son, Lukáš, was born with infantile cerebral palsy, and the middle one, Filip, suffers from congenital glaucoma and was diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of two.
It was a terrible shock, followed by two years of treatment, hospital stays, and great expenses – drugs, a special liver diet, and low-bacteria foods. I could only buy vacuum-packed foods for Kryštůfek, and he could only eat cooked food immediately after being cooked. No re-heating of food was allowed. All of that lasted for two years. To be able to manage financially, my eldest son left secondary school and started temping instead. The leukemia came back 9 months later. Everything started anew, only it was even harder this time around. Kryštůfek had to undergo a bone marrow transplant… We stayed in the hospital for three months. Financial assistance from GOOD ANGEL was extremely helpful: I was able to buy drugs for Kryštůfek, oral drapes, sanitary products, and disinfectant for the home (for instance, we had to disinfect the toilet and washbasin every time someone used it, door handles had to be disinfected on a daily basis, etc.). The low-bacteria food was again the most expensive item. I am very grateful to the Good Angel foundation, which is helping us deal with our situation, which is difficult as it is.
I really appreciate that. THANK YOU VERY MUCH ONCE AGAIN.
Just getting this diagnosis with respect to your nearest and dearest is enough for the world to come crashing down around you. And then when you finally leave the hospital after the initial upheaval and enter the “normal” world, where they say, “I don’t know, I have no experience with this; you are not entitled, but you have to pay!” Nobody cares where you get the money, and it starts crashing down around you for real. Then the lady from Krtek appeared like a “guardian angel”. She came and listened, telling us where to go and who to ask, and then mentioned the Good Angel foundation, to which she helped us apply for assistance. I am so happy that something like this exists, because, at least for me, it was a ray of light amidst all that darkness, a source of a certain calm, at least in that respect. Thank you very much. Now we just have to believe that there will be a happy ending, and that the foundation will be able to help many other people.
Patrik P.’s mother wrote to us:
“First of all, we would like to send our sincere greetings both to the Krtek foundation and Good Angel Foundation, which has been sending us CZK 3,000 on a regular basis. You’ve been a great help, by bringing a bit of joy into the children’s lives and by helping us cover the costs of hospital treatment. We attach two photographs of our children, and would like to thank you once more for your help.”