Today little Elijah should have finished his first grade. He should have been excited at the prospect that tomorrow it is officially school holidays. He should have had some fun on his last school day with his friends. He should have been counting down the days, excited that it is only 10 days to Christmas. But instead little Elijah has been admitted to Starship and is about to start the most intense cancer treatment for his leukemia to date.
In 2007 we first met them. Elijah was diagnosed not long after Bianca and so we've been walking our journeys together and became quite good friends. Because of all the rubbish with the Wellington hospital management and their inability to keep staff, Elijah and his family have spent so much time away from home for his treatment. During his treatment he really struggled. It seems he was always neutropenic, spent a lot of time in hospital and really suffered from a lot of the horrible side effects and allergic reactions. Yet, he always smiled, he was always so incredibly brave and just kept going. Then after they started maintenance he was finally ready to start school - and then he relapsed. He didn't even get a chance to finish treatment. So once again, they were sent to Auckland and his little brother was able to donate bone marrow and so they started again with a really intense fight. With his beautiful smile he got through it all and finally reached a point where he was around 1 year after bone marrow transplant and he was doing so incredibly well and even started school. What an amazing day! Something that so many take for granted. And now? 2 weeks before Christmas, they learned he relapsed again. Yesterday morning they flew to Auckland (to Starship). It looks likely that this time again, they'll be spending Christmas away from home and their families.
Their options are limited. They can either go onto palliative care and give chemo to attempt to prolong his life and give as much quality of life as possible, or they can give even more intense chemo treatment than before and try another bone marrow transplant. They are opting for the intense treatment. Because he relapsed after getting his little brother's marrow, they cannot use this again, they now have to look on the registry and at the moment there is only 1 suitable un-related donor which they will be checking to see if it is 100% suitable. And on top of that we are all praying incredibly hard that Elijah goes into remission and soon. He cannot have the bone marrow transplant unless he is in remission.
Please please please could you urgently keep them in your prayers and thoughts.
Please pray that:
- Elijah goes into remission really soon.
- They have a 100% suitable un-related bone marrow donor.
- Elijah doesn't struggle too much on this really intense treatment and that he will not experience too many horrible side-effects.
- This time the treatment and bone marrow transplant works - for good. So that for once this little 6 year old is able to lead a normal life, doing normal little boy things.
- That this family remain strong. This is THE most exhausting journey you could ever walk and they are about to walk it for the third time!
My heart absolutely breaks for them. Cancer sucks and sometimes life is just so unfair! :'-(
Here is a You Tube video his mum recently put together (Elijah's Leukemia Journey)