Life is full of adversity. My two lovely daughters suffered from Thalassemia, which made me live in hardship for ten years in order to take care of them. Fortunately, we got chances to accommodate at the Ronald McDonald House®
. It not only helped me take care of my daughters but also giving me a chance to talk to its staff members and volunteers when I was depressed and doing physical exercise to relax. Luckily, the pair eventually recovered.
My elder daughter Cheuk Chi was diagnosed as Thalassemia intermedia when she was one year old. More unfortunately, my younger daughter Cheuk Ying was also diagnosed as Thalassemia major when she was six months old and needed to stay in hospital twice a week. I was shocked and wanted to give up Cheuk Ying. Luckily, doctor told me that Thalassemia is curable and I gave up the idea to abandon Cheuk Ying. However, as I was still living in GuangZhou at that time, it was exhausting to cross the border all the time. Therefore, I took Cheuk Ying only to receive treatments in Hong Kong. Cheuk Chi was looked after by her grandma in the Mainland, and was taken to the hospital in Hong Kong every month by her uncle for blood transfusion.
Fortunately, when Cheuk Ying was two years old, the hospital found the cord blood that matched her and she received bone marrow transplantation successfully when she was three years old. However, it was such a painful process to just a 3-year-old girl. Every time when she received the chemotherapy, she suffered from lots of torturous side effects such as mouth ulcers and diarrhea etc. Since the hospital did not allow parents to stay overnight with their children, Cheuk Ying lost temper to me and threw pillow on me. It was indeed a horrible experience to me too. I felt painful for my daughter and was horrified by various problems appeared during the treatments.
While Cheuk Ying was receiving the bone marrow transplantation, Cheuk Chi was also having the pancreas removal surgery. I was extremely worried and exhausted. The doctor suggested Cheuk Chi to have her pancreas removed because she no longer needed to receive blood transfusion after the surgery. Sadly, this situation only lasted for three months. Cheuk Chi was diagnosed as Thalassemia major.
Since the bone marrow transplantation of Cheuk Ying was successful, I asked the doctor to arrange transplantation for Cheuk Chi too. According to the usual practice, doctors will not help children with Thalassemia to carry out non-relative transplantations if they are over ten years old. I was extremely anxious at that time. To my miracle, the God seemed to hear my prayer and got Cheuk Chi a right cord blood when she was eight years old. Although it was not the first time for me to encounter this surgery, I was still very worried because I knew that it was a very difficult path for Cheuk Chi.
Fortunately, both of them recovered and I felt relieved. It was lucky that we can live in the House during the difficult times. Otherwise I would have collapsed.
Mother of Lam Cheuk Chi and Lam Cheuk Ying