Maiah's story

  • Maiah and her mother
    Maiah and her mother

3-year-old Maiah from in Myanmar was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in May 2018. It takes her and her mother ten hours to reach the hospital and affording treatment has been a struggle.

“I feel so sad about the diagnosis. In fact, I had never even heard of childhood cancer. It took me a long time to accept that my child was so sick. Watching Maiah go through treatment for cancer has been the hardest experience of my life. My only wish for her is to continue the treatment until she is free from cancer. As her mother I will do everything I can to make sure this happens.”

Access to treatment centres and finding money for treatment-related cost remains a major challenge for Maiah’s mother. To get access to Yangon Children’s Hospital, it takes about ten hours – travelling mostly by bus and motorbike.

She spent all of their savings to meet the costs for treatment and had to borrow more money, with 10% interest.

World Child Cancer is now supporting Maiah’s treatment and treatment-associated cost such as travelling allowance and nutrition. Our twinning partnership also means that the healthcare professionals at Yangon Children’s Hospital have received specialised training to treat children with cancer.

“Thank you to the healthcare professionals working at the Yangon Children’s Hospital who are delivering care with limited resources, I really appreciate their great work they are doing, for not only my daughter but also children with cancer across the country. The support provided by World Child Cancer is just amazing.”

Each year over 300,000 children are expected to develop cancer, yet their chances of survival vary enormously depending on which country they are born in. Childhood cancer, if detected early enough, can be cured. In low-income countries children are often misdiagnosed or die of curable cancer because of a lack of awareness. Even when a child does receive an accurate diagnosis, for many families access to the treatment they desperately need is out of reach due to the cost of care and enormous distances to hospital.

Just £5 could fund nutritional support for a month for a child like Maiah who is receiving treatment for cancer in Myanmar.