NEW Ruby Red Bracelets for Cathrin Botha – Acute Myeloid Leukemia
On 24 January 2019, Cathrin Botha (13 months old at the time), was admitted to Wilmed Park in Klerksdorp. Doctors suspected glandular fever as she had swollen glands behind her ears, high fever, swollen liver and spleen. Dr Strauss took blood samples for tests, and Cathrin was diagnosed with Leukemia on the 25th. Dr Strauss immediately referred her to Professor Stones at Universitas Hospital in Bloemfontein.
After bone marrow tests, a lumber-punch and more blood tests, it was confirmed that Cathrin has Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). The Cancer count in her bone marrow is 65% and she was went in to theatre for a hickmin line (central line), which is connected directly into her aorta. The line is used for her chemotherapy as well as blood tests and blood transfusions. The line should be cleaned twice a week with new patches to prevent her from getting infections.
The first treatment was 8 days of severe chemo (22 bags). On day 15, a bone marrow biopsy was done and the cancer count was down to 5%.
Treatment continued with a 6 block chemo, of which 3 spinal chemos were also administered to prevent the cancer from spreading to her brain. She would have 5 days chemo and 2 days rest, only if the blood count and the white blood cells are beneficial to the chemo, of which there are resting weeks inbetween the blocks of chemo. The treatment lasted a full 11 weeks. During the treatment she also received many blood transfusions and platelets.
After another two weeks of rest after the block, the doctors thought best to send Cathrin back to hospital for the first time after 106 days. Her home is in Wolmaransstad, North West Province, and she is due back at Universitas on May 20, 2019. The next bone marrow biopsy will be done, and spinal chemo will be administered to prevent the cancer from spreading to her brain. She will receive another 6 blocks of chemo which may well last up to 10 weeks. From there, Cathrin will need a further 2 years of treatment. This means they have to travel to the hospital every month for 4 days to get chemo, and for the rest of the time she will receive medication at home.
The family was thrown in to a reasonable deep end. Cathrin`s grandmother is with her in hospital as mom is not able to go and see her the past month due to her pregnancy. The road is just too far, and the roads too bad. Finances also wouldn`t allow traveling as she had to leave her job to be with Catherin full time.
Thankfully her in-laws have been helping out with looking after their eldest daughter, taking her to school, with fuel for the vehicle to make it possible for Cathrin`s father and eldest child to visit them every weekend in hospital. They have to cater for their own meals as well as unforeseen expenses. Cathrin will 17 months old on the 21st of May 2019.
Help us raise funds for Cathrin Botha
The Ruby Red Bracelets for Cathrin cost R30 each – consisting of red wooden beads with crystals – and a Daisy, 2 small Cancer Awareness ribbons, or Diamante Flower charm. To place an order, contact the agent in your area, or shop online. Alternatively, please consider a donation towards the cause. Any and all donations welcome.