Abril’s smile beams of joy as she lays on a bed on the childhood cancer ward at Hospital de la Ninez Oaxaquena in Oaxaca, Mexico. Her smile disguises a difficult 18 months for Abril and her family as in March 2017, she was diagnosed with cancer.
Abril’s journey to being in a hospital 12-hours from her home began when she complained of cramps in her legs and developed an inflammation in her gums. Despite her family repeatedly seeking medical support, Abril was left undiagnosed with local healthcare workers in their small town of Lázaro Cárdenas unable to find the reason behind her discomfort.
The family eventually made the long journey to Oaxaca where Abril was finally diagnosed with cancer and began to receive treatment. Due to a lack of resources, the hospital only has space for one parent to remain with their child meaning Abril’s father was forced to return home.
Many families in developing countries such as Mexico are often unable to cope with the burdens of having a child with cancer including the cost of travel, treatment and the emotional stress it can put on an entire family. Abril’s family speak in Mixteco, an indigenous language meaning they also had a language barrier to overcome when trying to care for their daughter.
World Child Cancer actively supports Hospital de la Ninez Oaxaquena in Oaxaca and has taken action to overcome language barriers for families with indigenous dialects. By translating essential childhood cancer awareness information into Mixteco we have been able to empower families to push for accurate and timely diagnosis outcomes. Time is critical when treating childhood cancer and if detected early enough, the majority of cases can be cured.
As well as ensuring families understand what childhood cancer is through these new multilingual materials, World Child Cancer has also developed parent support groups which Abril’s mum has now joined where she enjoys making crafts as a way of distracting her mind during. The sale of the craft items also generates a small income for the family which is vital when forced to spend time away from home.
Despite being diagnosed over a year ago, Abril sadly suffered a relapse recently and has suffered many infections during her treatment but she is starting to recover once again and is progressing well.
Thanks to your support we can help more children like Abril to get a faster route to better treatment. Donate today to help give the gift of growing up to children around the world.