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Today MCK friends Scott and Zack visited Cipto Hospital with volunteers Inge and Sarah for another successful visit. As you may well know, Scott is planning to run from Bali to Jakarta in just seven weeks and counting. He wanted the opportunity to meet again with the children that he is competing this epic run for.

A glimpse of Scott and Inge

 

We began the visit in the ever-crowded polyclinic where many children were waiting to see their doctors for outpatient treatment. We chatted briefly to a family whose little girl, bravely fighting Leukemia, was due to receive a consultation with Dr Endang. Another little boy, fast asleep in his mum’s arms, was waiting to see his doctor about the seizures that he has recently been having. All of the children waiting were so well behaved in a crowded, busy environment – a big thumbs up to them all from the MCK visitors today.

 

Dr Karyanti is our doctor for the children with infectious diseases at Cipto. She spent a lot of time with us this morning and was able to show us the ER room, where she has eight patients waiting for beds on her ward, and also the ward itself. We met a 3 year old girl who is waiting for a CT scan. The doctors initially suspected TB or meningitis, however it looks increasingly likely that the little girl is suffering from a congenital condition that must be investigated. MCK will pay for the CT scan so that this little one can be diagnosed and treated. Good luck, our thoughts are with you.

 

On the cancer ward we had a great time waving to Alzena. MCK volunteers have met with 3 year old Alzena before. Today she was receiving her chemotherapy, hence why we were waving from the corridor rather than chatting with her. Alzena has a neuroblastoma at Stage IV. She was happily jigging around on her bed, waving and smiling at Scott as received her treatment. We all left the ward uplifted by the spirit of this little girl, but also saddened that her condition is advanced, and that she has had to suffer so much at such a young age.

Alzena pulling a cute face to us

 

News from the Neonatal ward today is mixed. We were delighted to hear that the five babies brought to our attention as special cases in December are all recovering well and have gone home. This includes Ny Alif who suffers from thyroid problems. The conjoined twins who were separated in December have also gone hope to continue their recovery. Fantastic news for all the babies and their families, good luck and keep fighting!

 

We were deeply saddened to hear that the twins joined at the head have passed away. Our thoughts are with their family.

 

During today’s visit we met yet two more sets of conjoined twins, at one week old and two hours old! The assessment of the week-old twins is still being completed but it looks likely that they share too many internal organs to be separated. We hope for news of the two hour-old twins on our next visit. We also met a real fighter, a little boy born at twenty-five weeks weighing just 850g. The doctors are very happy with the small progress he is making and believe his prognosis to be good.

 

More news in a couple of weeks time when we will visit the wards again.

 

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Read this inspiring article found today on Jakarta Globe about volunteers from the Children’s Yellow Ribbon Foundation:

How You Can Help Children With Cancer

 

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Two Dutch teenage girls have kindly donated their soft toys to Dharmais Cancer Kiddies. Laureline and Anneline are both heading back to Europe to further their education. We wish them the best of luck with their studies and thank you for their kind donation. MCK’s volunteer Siu Shan visited Dharmais Hospital yesterday to hand out the toys to the children. They were very happy to receive the toys but were a little camera shy. See more photos in our photo album, click here.

Ananda was more than happy to show off his toys he picked

Edo doing well and watching movies on his bed

Ivana resting with her new toys

Juranda a little afraid of his new koala bear toy

Najwa suffering from brain cancer. We send her warm hugs to get well soon

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We are so happy to hear that last month we managed to locate the family of baby Ahma who was abandoned by her mother. MCK’s volunteer Inge J and with the help of nurses from Cipto Neonatal managed to track down the family. Let’s hope baby Ahma gets all the love and attention for growing up.

It’s been a month since our last visit at Cipto and today we met an array of patients that MCK are supporting. In the Infectious ward, Sahrul is 2.5 years old weighing only 5kg. He is suffering from severe malnutrition, Tuberculosis, and HIV (the latter being contracted through his mother). This is his second hospitalization and this time he’s been receiving treatment for two weeks now. Doctors are keeping a watchful eye on him.

Sahrul

Pictured below is Jelsia who is nearly six years old with Congenital Heart Disease. Unfortunately she also has an infection in her brain resulting in her left arm and left leg partially immobile. She will be undergoing surgery this Friday to remove the infection in her brain. We send her warm wishes to stay strong.

Jelsia sound asleep

Subiatto is fifteen years old and we were sad to hear that he has been sick for five years now. He’s been hospitalized for four weeks suffering lung infection. Doctors have already operated on him to drain a lot of fluid out from his right lung. Currently on antibiotics, his condition is being monitored through lab checks to find out the cause of the lung infection.

Subiatto

Two year old Sinta has Ascariasis (also known as worms) in her stomach. She was admitted two days ago in ER in which doctors found signs of worms in her vomit and faeces. She did not want to be disturbed but we were happy to hear that she may be able to return home to Cengkareng tomorrow.

Sinta

Over at the cancer ward, we met gorgeous looking eight year old Prichilla from Bogor. She is diagnosed with acute Leukemia and has been receiving chemo treatment for three weeks now.

gorgeous looking Prichilla

Next we met four year old Fajri suffering from acute AML. She was diagnosed one month ago and is now receiving the necessary treatment to get well. We adored her big smile when she allowed us to take a photo of her.

smiles from Fajri

Another girl we met with an adorable smile was eleven year old Dewi. She has Neuroblastoma (tumor found in her abdomen) and her eye problem came as secondary. Unfortunately her cancer is already in stage four. She was not shy to talk to us and proudly showed off her bracelet. We hope her well in her treatments.

Big smiles from Dewi

Ten year old Wawan is undergoing chemo treatment for Leukemia. Doctors class him as a high risk patient because of his poor response to the treatment. His mother told us he is the youngest in the family.

Wawan

Another patient who we met in stage four of the cancer was eleven year old Yongki. He has cancer in the ear, nose and throat and the tumor has been spreading. Doctors cannot operate on him yet until the spread is controlled. He is undergoing chemo treatment which is helping.

Yongki

Lastly we met five year old Mutia from Bekasi with an unusual case of tumor in her liver (which normally occurs in adults). She has already been operated to remove the tumor and will continue with chemo treatment.

Mutia

At the Neonatal ward, we were very honored to have Dr. Rina showing us around. There was a special case of conjoined twins which had to be isolated in a special area. Both girls are joined on the hip bone. One baby is fit and well whilst the other is not doing so good. The twins can be separated as they don’t share the same organs but doctors are worried that the weaker baby may not survive so they have decided not to operate on them until the other gets well.

Conjoined Twins

Lastly we met the most tiniest baby so far. Born just seven hours ago, 26 weeks premature and weighing only 700gsm. Baby Fitriani is suffering from problems in her lung and nurses had to help her with breathing apparatus.

Baby Fitriani

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Since the launch of our website, news has travelled abroad attracting more new donors. A special thanks to Shelly & Ringo from Hong Kong, and Dicky & Gerrit from Holland who all made a kind donation.

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Yesterday we made another hospital visit to Dharmais to check on our patients. Here’s our updates so far.

Edo, (admitted to Dharmais Hospital in March this year with a highly malignant tumor) was not doing so good yesterday. He was suffering from a high temperature and a loss of appetite due to an infection. He was quite content with just watching some television and didn’t want to be disturbed. He allowed us to take a photo of him. So let’s all send him big wishes to get well soon.

Edo suffering from a highly malignant tumor

Rifaldi (who was suffering from ALL) has gone home! Yeh! his good friend Ibrahim unfortunately cannot go home yet and is still undergoing treatment for ALL.

We met five new patients that MCK are supporting. Fifi, from Banten is receiving her second stage of chemotherapy treatment and unfortunately had to have one of her leg amputated. Her father was keeping her company and we are sad to learn she is in stage four of the cancer. We send her blessings to stay strong and well.

Siti Nur Aini, is from Tangerang and suffers Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML). She is doing well and did not want to be disturbed.

Mutia, was a patient at Cipto Hospital before but had to be admitted to Dharmais. She is undergoing treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma. She proudly showed off her new looks for us.

Mutia showing off her new looks

Rizza, suffering from ALL was not doing so good. He is receiving special treatment but let’s send our hopes for him to get better.

Lastly we met Yohanna who is 3.5 years old from Medan. She just had blood transfusion for her Leukemia and was doing fine. Happily, she posed for us with her father.

Cute smiles from Yohanna and her father

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As the holiday season and year end approaches, Mary’s Cancer Kiddies (MCK) volunteers would like to say a special thank you to our generous supporters and to wish you and your families all the very best for 2009. Thanks to your help, we have been able to continue our work with children suffering from cancer and infectious diseases, and prematurely born babies.

Children’s cancer ward, Dharmais Hospital

Working with children with cancer in any country is very grueling and in Indonesia, where children generally come in for treatment only after their cancer is well advanced and the prognosis is often consequently bleak, this is all the more true.

Sometimes, though, the least hopeful cases can surprise even the most experienced cancer specialists, as the case of six-year-old Siskawati demonstrates. When her family brought her in for treatment for a tumor on her retina a year ago her cancer was already stage IV, as the cancer had already spread to her brain, and her prognosis was very poor. Fortunately, even though her chances of survival were very slim, Siskawati’s family went ahead with the recommended treatment, including the removal of her eye and, after several cycles of chemotherapy, the cancer cells in her brain died.  Today, little Siskawati is doing well and she is in the process of being fitted with a prosthetic eye funded by MCK, thanks to two of our generous supporters.

Siskawati

MCK has also provided financial assistance to dozens of other children at Dharmais hospital. They include 14-year-old Rico, who was diagnosed with a brain tumour. Rico’s family had applied for financial assistance from the government insurance scheme for low income families, Askeskin, to cover the cost of his treatment, but the severe nature of his illness meant that treatment could not wait until the insurance cover  was  in  place.   The family sold their modest house in order to cover some of the treatment costs and MCK also provided assistance by paying for medicine and an MRI.

The onerous cost of treatment not only causes families to go into chronic debt, it can also lead them to decide not to continue with treatment, with usually devastating consequences. One family whose son, Alfonsus, was diagnosed with cancer nearly did just that. Having struggled to pay for six chemotherapy treatments they had no funds left to cover the cost of the four remaining cycles of chemotherapy needed, and staff at the hospital feared that they may give up and decide to stop the treatment as a result. Fortunately, MCK was able to step in and offer support and Alfonsus went on to complete his treatment.

Children’s cancer ward, Cipto Hospital

At Cipto hospital many families face the same dilemma as those at Dharmais and MCK therefore works closely with the doctors and nurses to provide assistance to those most in need. Among the children who have received MCK support at Cipto hospital in recent months are 6-year-old Zaenab and 15-month-old Zaki, both suffering from Leukaemia, and 6-year-old Vina, who has a tumor on her retina.

Zaenab

Zaki

Vina

Neonatal unit, Cipto hospital

In recent months, MCK has provided support for hundreds of premature babies being treated in the neonatal ward at Cipto hospital. For the poorest families the unanticipated costs associated with the medical care needed for a premature baby are often overwhelming. In the most desperate cases, parents abandon their newly born infants at the hospital because they are unable to pay the bills.

Infectious ward, Cipto hospital

MCK continues to provide financial assistance for children in the infectious ward, many of whom are also suffering from malnutrition. The photo below shows doctors and nurses from the ward.

Doctors and nurses at the infectious ward, Cipto Hospital

Hospital visits by MCK supporters

While MCK would not be able to do the work we do without the money generously provided by our donors, MCK is delighted that their kindness so often also extends to taking the time to visit the children and show their concern for them and their families.

JIS students

JIS students have continued to pay visits the children’s cancer ward at Dharmais to spend time with the children and, in April, two of them joined Dan Roberts of Clowns without Borders/ Hidung Merah Circus to entertain them.

British Women’s Association (BWA) volunteers have been regular visitors to Cipto hospital. The photo below shows two of them, Chris and Penny, preparing to give out to those undergoing treatment school bags, books and pencils donated by BIS students.

Chris and Penny

BWA volunteers

Izzi Pizza/Priscilla Hall Memorial Foundation

Don Hall (second from right), Julie (left)

For those of you who like pizza and would also like to contribute to the work of MCK, why not try a Priscilla pizza? For each one sold, Izzi Pizza donates Rp. 1,000 to the Priscilla Hall Memorial Foundation. The Foundation matches each Rp. 1,000 and the proceeds go to MCK. Don Hall, who runs the foundation set up in his daughter’s name, at the children’s cancer ward of Cipto, is pictured here with MCK volunteer, Julie, and two ward doctors.

In Memoriam

MCK volunteers were deeply saddened by the death in May of Nina, dedicated Dharmais hospital children’s cancer ward volunteer. She is much missed.

Nina

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