The Story

Our Lieke (5) is a sweet, happy and very social girl who always reacts enthusiastic and energetic on all kinds of things in her environment. She is the older sister of Britt (3) and we live in Mariaparochie, a small village in the eastern part of Holland, near Germany.

Lieke does everything what a 5 year old girl needs to do, she is going to school, she goes to swimming lessons but fore mostly she plays and has fun with her friends.
She was never really sick, but right before she got diagnosed with a life-threatening disease she said to be tired. This was a reason to test her blood. Her blood values were slightly off but it was nothing to be worried about, medicines would compensate this, and they did. After this however, she got stomach aches. She had a bladder infection and with antibiotics this should heal. Three days after the start of antibiotics the stomach ache started to intensify and we did not trust the situation as it was anymore. We took Lieke to the local hospital and there they thought about an appendix inflammation. After making a scan of her chest however, it was clear Lieke had no appendix inflammation. It was something much worse. The doctors soon suspected that Lieke had a tumour in her chest. She was immediately transported per ambulance to an academic hospital (UMCG) which is specialised in treating children who have cancer. On the 3rd of November in the morning we arrived in the hospital, once we arrived a full week of examination and research followed.

At the 9th of November the doctors told us Lieke has a Neuroblastoma gradation 4. The tumour came from her adrenal and she had metastasis in her lymph nodes in her neck and on her chest. The tumour is very aggressive, they told us.

Within one week our lives drastically changed. A treatment plan was produced: Six n5 and n6 chemo therapy sessions (one session takes a week), surgery, stem cell transplantation, and radio therapy were included in the plan. After the second chemo therapy session and an MRI-scan, the doctors told us that the chemo medicines are effective, the tumour was getting smaller. At this point they also said that Lieke should go to Philadelphia for continued treatment, once her treatment in The Netherlands was finished.

At this moment Lieke is fighting a brave but tough fight against cancer and she needs to go through a lot. To motivate her (and other sick kids) in The Netherlands children with cancer get a necklace from the hospital. Each time she undergoes a treatment such as chemo, blood transfusion, surgery, injections or whatsoever, she gets one bead to add to the chain. Development of this chain can be followed through Facebook.

We would remain grateful forever to the ones who help us to make our stay in the US possible! 

                                                     LIEKE WANTS TO LIVE