Message in a bottle
It would be lovely to find a bottle on a beach, and inside a love letter … This might seem like a far-fetched plot in a film, but it could be our story.
Inside the bottle is a story of love, achievement and hope. The achievement of overcoming a disease that came without warning, almost at Christmas, just before Lucía turned five, with a few bruises as the only symptoms. “Lucía has leukaemia,” the doctor explained, practically unable to look us in the eye.
A storm of confusion rushed through us; we couldn’t get our heads around what was happening, as we struggled to come to terms with the nightmare which had engulfed us. Fear, all was fear of losing Lucía…
From the 10 months Lucia stayed in hospital, I’d rather not remember her reactions to the chemotherapy, her infections when she was left without any defences, the operations she had to have as a result, the 21 spinal taps to receive chemotherapy in order to prevent leukaemia from invading her central system, or the first time she saw her hair had fallen out.
We also try not to dwell on the moment when we received the diagnosis, or our pain when the oncologist explained how 25% of affected children die of the disease.
What we do remember is the energy that these brave and interpret intrepid young soldiers show every day, and how they receive the chemotherapy with a smile on their face. We need to hold on to the way Lucía overcame the complications that arose when we least expected them to. Lucía is the perfect excuse to go on smiling. She is the perfect excuse to spend a long life with her: she’s a fighter, a winner who is getting better, step-by-step, even in the midst of the uncertainty of not knowing what will happen the next day.
Now she is back at school, at her activities, dancing, going to friends’ birthday parties. Once again, she has a life. We are enjoying life more than ever, every moment, every smile, every gesture.
In this bottle is the hope that, thanks to people like you, like us, research will advance and get to the point where leukaemia -or any cancer- can be cured simply and painlessly.
After almost 2 years of treatment, I realise that the point is not to have hope as an individual, but of giving hope to all. Lucía wouldn’t want to keep her hope to herself; she would want her hope to help other children who are suffering fromdisease. We have hope in research: we have to fight against leukaemia.
What if it were true? What if it were true that, one day, children’s leukaemia will be cured? This must not be left to chance. We should not let this opportunity pass us by.
We must all collaborate. Even if leukaemia doesn’t affect you personally, help, for purely selfish reasons: someone near to you might need this research which we are trying to support.
Enjoy collaborating in the noble fight of children against uncertainty. For you, for them.