Cure 250 Children with Burkitt Lymphoma in Africa

by The International Network for Cancer Treatment and Research (INCTR)
Cure 250 Children with Burkitt Lymphoma in Africa
Cure 250 Children with Burkitt Lymphoma in Africa
Cure 250 Children with Burkitt Lymphoma in Africa
Cure 250 Children with Burkitt Lymphoma in Africa
Cure 250 Children with Burkitt Lymphoma in Africa
Cure 250 Children with Burkitt Lymphoma in Africa
Cure 250 Children with Burkitt Lymphoma in Africa
Cure 250 Children with Burkitt Lymphoma in Africa
Cure 250 Children with Burkitt Lymphoma in Africa
Cure 250 Children with Burkitt Lymphoma in Africa
Cure 250 Children with Burkitt Lymphoma in Africa
Cure 250 Children with Burkitt Lymphoma in Africa
Cure 250 Children with Burkitt Lymphoma in Africa
Cure 250 Children with Burkitt Lymphoma in Africa
Cure 250 Children with Burkitt Lymphoma in Africa
Cure 250 Children with Burkitt Lymphoma in Africa
Cure 250 Children with Burkitt Lymphoma in Africa
Cure 250 Children with Burkitt Lymphoma in Africa
Cure 250 Children with Burkitt Lymphoma in Africa
Cure 250 Children with Burkitt Lymphoma in Africa
Cure 250 Children with Burkitt Lymphoma in Africa
Cure 250 Children with Burkitt Lymphoma in Africa
Cure 250 Children with Burkitt Lymphoma in Africa
Cure 250 Children with Burkitt Lymphoma in Africa
Cure 250 Children with Burkitt Lymphoma in Africa
Cure 250 Children with Burkitt Lymphoma in Africa
Cure 250 Children with Burkitt Lymphoma in Africa
Cure 250 Children with Burkitt Lymphoma in Africa
Cure 250 Children with Burkitt Lymphoma in Africa
Cure 250 Children with Burkitt Lymphoma in Africa
Cure 250 Children with Burkitt Lymphoma in Africa
Cure 250 Children with Burkitt Lymphoma in Africa
Kalum's Excited and Ready to Go Home!
Kalum's Excited and Ready to Go Home!

Kalum, aged ten, was brought to St. Mary’s Hospital Lacor in Gulu, Uganda by her father in late September of 2020. They travelled 200 kilometers from their village in the Moyo District to come to our hospital. Her mother remained at home to continue her work as a peasant farmer and to care for Kalum’s seven siblings.

Approximately six weeks prior to admission, Kalum’s father reported that she had a tooth extraction and soon afterwards developed rapidly progressive and painful swelling of her left jaw. Upon examination, we noted that the left side of her face was grossly deformed and that she had a mass protruding from the inside of her mouth. Her abdomen was mildly distended and a mass in the right upper abdominal quadrant was palpable and very tender. She had no other clinical signs of disease.

We performed routine laboratory work as well as other diagnostic tests, including an abdominal ultrasound. The ultrasound showed that she had multiple solid masses in her liver as well as a mass in her right kidney. Her other tests were negative. A biopsy of her jaw mass was taken. The results of the biopsy confirmed that she had Burkitt lymphoma.

Based upon the results of the investigations, it was decided to treat Kalum according to the high-risk arm of the INCTR treatment protocol for Burkitt lymphoma – meaning that she would receive a total of six cycles of chemotherapy with intrathecal therapy to prevent spread of disease to her central nervous system. She was started on treatment as soon as possible.  

After two cycles of chemotherapy, she had an excellent response. There was complete resolution of all masses in her abdomen as well as her jaw mass. She recently finished her sixth and last cycle of treatment and tests performed at this time showed that she was in complete remission.

Because treatment cycles for Burkitt lymphoma are given every two weeks and any unnecessary delays in treatment for this particularly aggressive cancer – such a discharge to a home far away from the hospital - can have negative consequences, it was decided that Kalum needed to remain with us for the duration of her treatment. Once she finished all planned therapy, she was very excited to go back home to see her siblings after her long hospital stay!  

Your donations to this project support the costs of treatment and gives children with Burkitt lymphoma the opportunity and hope for long-term cure. Your donations also help to support the costs of transportation so that children and their parents can reach a hospital capable of treating this very curable cancer. Transportation costs are all too often unaffordable for families like Kalum’s. Thank you again for generosity!

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Ronald's Emotional Return to St Mary's
Ronald's Emotional Return to St Mary's

Ronald’s grandfather brought him to St Mary’s Hospital Lacor in Gulu, Uganda after Ronald experienced a one-month history of progressive painful swelling of his right jaw. They arrived at St Mary’s in June amidst the Covid-19 pandemic after a long journey from their home in the north western part of the country.

When ten-year old Ronald was admitted to the hospital, he was a very ill. His face was very deformed due to gross swelling of the jaw and he had a visible mass protruding through his mouth. Ronald had difficulty with speech and eating. He also had loosening of his teeth. He underwent other tests which did not show spread of disease to other parts of his body. His clinical features were classical for Burkitt lymphoma and a biopsy taken of the jaw mass confirmed our suspected diagnosis.

He was then started on first-line chemotherapy according to the INCTR treatment protocol for Burkitt lymphoma. After the first cycle, Ronald’s grandfather made the decision to take Ronald home – which is a very long distance from St Mary’s Hospital – for financial reasons. The family’s income is derived from subsistence farming. Ronald’s biological father does not provide financial support for Ronald and his eight siblings. Therefore, Ronald’s grandfather and mother must work to feed and care for the family.

Ronald missed his appointment for the next cycle of therapy. After contacting his grandfather, we learned that he had no money to bring Ronald back to St Mary’s. Their home district was under lockdown due to Covid-19 and no public transportation was available. The hiring of a driver with a private vehicle was an option. However, this option was both cost-prohibitive and illegal. With the help of a local NGO, St Mary’s was able to transport Ronald back to the hospital to continue treatment.

Even though he had a five-week delay after the first cycle of therapy, Ronald did not have any signs of progression of disease when he returned. He completed the second cycle of therapy and is just beginning the third cycle. He is doing well and has had a complete resolution of his jaw tumor. In an aggressive cancer such as Burkitt lymphoma, it is important that all planned treatment is completed and without unnecessary delays so that a child with this cancer has the best chance for cure. Ronald is now staying at the hospital’s Family Home to ensure that he completes treatment and avoids delays due to lack of transportation caused by restrictions imposed during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Thanks to your generous donations to this project, poor children from rural villages have access to the necessary treatment for Burkitt lymphoma. Your support provides families and children with the hope of long-lasting cure. Thank you again for your support.

 

    

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Allan After Treatment
Allan After Treatment

Allan, a 14-year old boy, came to St Mary’s Hospital Lacor in January.  He was accompanied by his mother. They reported that he had a three-month history of progressive and painful abdominal swelling. He stated that he had also lost weight, particularly in the month prior to admission to St Mary's. On examination, we found him to be very ill and severely malnourished. In addition to the visible abdominal distention, we could easily feel a well-defined mass in his upper right abdomen.  

Allan immediately underwent a series of tests that showed that he had disease that was widespread throughout his abdomen. He had multiple masses in his liver and a very large mass within his abdominal cavity. A biopsy taken of the abdominal mass confirmed our suspected diagnosis of Burkitt lymphoma. He promptly began the appropriate treatment for this type of cancer which consists of six cycles of chemotherapy. In addition to chemotherapy, he received nutritional rehabilitation. The first cycle of chemotherapy was a tough one for Allan. Because of the extent of his disease, Allan had to be carefully supported prior to the initiation of the first cycle and monitored closely once treatment began to ensure that his kidneys were working well – especially when his lymphoma began to break down - which can sometimes result in kidney failure and death. After he made it through these first few days, he developed dangerously low levels of infection-fighting white blood cells that also had the potential to be life-threatening. He recovered from the first cycle and went on to complete the rest of his chemotherapy with minimal side effects. All signs of his Burkitt lymphoma disappeared after the first two cycles of therapy.

Before Allan became ill, he lived with his parents and four siblings in the Lira District in northern Uganda. He performed very well in school.  He helped his mother in the family’s garden to ensure that they had sufficient food to eat. He also helped his mother when she needed to go to the market to buy other food and supplies for the family. During treatment, he was always concerned about his mother because she was the sole provider for the family as sadly, his father was mentally unwell. The hospital staff thought that he was very mature for his age.   

Now that he has completed treatment, Allan cannot wait to resume his normal life.  He wants to continue to support his mother in whatever ways he can. He also wishes to return to school and complete his education so that one day, he can become a teacher - his big dream for the future.

Thank you to everyone who supports this project. Without your donations, children like Allan would not be able to receive an accurate diagnosis and the appropriate care and treatment for this highly curable cancer. Children with Burkitt lymphoma need to be given the chance for cure – no matter how extensive their tumor may be at the time of diagnosis – so that they, too, can be given hope to fulfill their dreams for the future.

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Ruth After Treatment
Ruth After Treatment

Ruth was 9 years old when she first came to St Mary’s Hospital Lacor in Gulu. She is from a village in Lira, the district that borders Gulu in northern Uganda.   Her father brought her to St Mary’s in June 2019 after she experienced a one-month history of progressive and painful abdominal swelling.  

When she was admitted to our hospital, Ruth was quite ill. Her nutritional status was very poor and she had severe wasting. Upon examination, she had a grossly distended abdomen and an ill-defined mass that was palpable and very large.  She underwent blood work, a chest x-ray and an ultrasound of her abdomen.  The ultrasound revealed that she had multiple tumors in her liver, a separate large mass within her abdominal cavity as well as fluid in the abdomen.  A biopsy of the large abdominal mass was performed which confirmed that she had Burkitt lymphoma.

Ruth required supportive care, including nutritional support, and was started on first-line (FL) chemotherapy for Burkitt lymphoma that consisted of cyclophosphamide, vincristine, methotrexate and treatment to prevent the spread of disease to her central nervous system.

Unfortunately, Ruth did not respond to FL treatment as we had hoped. Therefore, after two cycles of FL therapy, she was immediately changed to the second-line treatment which is intended for patients such as Ruth who do not respond well to FL therapy. The drugs used in this second-line regimen are different to FL. She responded very well to this salvage regimen. Although it is more intensive - meaning that patients can experience more prolonged or serious side effects than with FL therapy, Ruth tolerated second-line therapy well. She completed all planned treatment and achieved a complete response. Ruth was recently seen at the hospital and has no evidence of disease. And, she is recovering her strength.

Thanks to your generous donations to this project, poor children from rural villages have access to the necessary treatment for Burkitt lymphoma, including salvage therapy when needed, in order to provide them with the hope for long-lasting cure and the chance to fulfill their dreams. Thank you again for your support.    

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Robinah After Treatment
Robinah After Treatment

Robinah was 11 years old when she came to St Mary’s Hospital Lacor in Gulu, Uganda. She came to the hospital in April of 2019 and was accompanied by her 16 year old brother. They had lost both of their parents. Their uncle, who provides for them, is a subsistence farmer and could not take the time away from work to bring her to the hospital. Therefore, Robinah and her brother had to make the hazardous journey from their village to St Mary’s alone. Their journey took a very long time because good roads were not easily accessible and transportation services were unreliable.     

Robinah had an approximately one-year history of jaw swelling. Because it was painless, the family did not seek health care. About four months prior to admission, she developed abdominal swelling which progressively worsened. Not long after her abdomen swelled, she developed swelling of her lower limbs and started to have difficulty in breathing. It was then that the family began to mobilize the funds necessary to pay for her transportation to St Mary’s.

Upon admission to the hospital, she had very advanced disease. Not only did she have facial swelling, but she also had wide-spread disease throughout her abdomen. Fluid surrounded both her heart and lungs. A biopsy was performed that confirmed the suspected diagnosis of Burkitt lymphoma. She was promptly started on treatment and rapidly improved. She was able to breathe more easily and her facial swelling became smaller. The staff could see how happy she was. Her brother, who never left her side, was visibly relieved.

After the second cycle of therapy, Robinah was doing so well that she asked if she could go back home so that her brother could continue school. Because the team at St Mary’s was unsure that she would be able to return to complete all six cycles of planned chemotherapy, they called her uncle to obtain his permission to let Robinah stay at the hospital’s family home and informed him that her best chance for a long-term cure was to complete all planned treatment without unnecessary interruptions related to long-distance travel. Her uncle was assured that she would be well taken care of and he agreed to let her stay at the family home during the remainder of her therapy. Her brother then returned home to go back to school.     

The family home was vital to Robinah’s successful outcome. While staying there, she found a second family that supported her. She was excited to have the opportunity to continue with her own education through the school based at the family home. This was important to her because she had missed school for nearly a year prior to her admission to the hospital.   She completed all treatment and presently has no evidence of Burkitt lymphoma.

With your generous contributions to this project, children who are very poor and need support to cover the costs of treatment, including food and accommodation, can be helped. Your donations ensure that a young child with Burkitt lymphoma has the best chance for cure. Thank you again for your support!

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
 

About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Project Leader:
Melissa Adde
Brussels, Brussels Belgium
$106,819 raised of $115,000 goal
 
812 donations
$8,181 to go
Donate Now
lock
Donating through GlobalGiving is safe, secure, and easy with many payment options to choose from. View other ways to donate

The International Network for Cancer Treatment and Research (INCTR) has earned this recognition on GlobalGiving:
Add Project to Favorites

Help raise money!

Support this important cause by creating a personalized fundraising page.

Start a Fundraiser

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence

Snorkeler
Our
Impact

Woman Holding a Gift Card
Give
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle
GlobalGiving
Guarantee

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.