Hello! My name is Paolo and I am 4 years old. When I was 6 months old I was diagnosed with MLL+ acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, a very aggressive type of leukaemia that mainly affects babies, just like me.
When it all happened I was with my parents in Madrid, and we went to the hospital thinking I had bronchitis. But the diagnosis wounded their souls… The only option to cure me was for me to undergo a bone marrow transplant. And that’s what we did!
The truth is that I don’t remember it, but I know that my parents have had many scares, but they decided that we would not waste energy blaming fate for this disease, we accepted the fear and pain and promised each other to fight with strength and love. Luckily we were accompanied by a wonderful team of doctors and nurses.
The journey has been tough. I was in the ICU twice for pneumonia and a septic crisis. The lockdown arrived and everything changed in the hospital. Clowns and volunteers stopped coming, and mum and dad could not both accompany me. For a month and a half I stayed alone with mum, isolated in a room and talking to dad over a mobile phone.
After seven months in hospital and a month of home hospitalisation, the long-awaited moment arrived: thanks to a mummy who had donated her baby’s umbilical cord, I received a second chance to be here with everyone. THANK YOU.
Now we are at home, living here and now. We are grateful to all the people who have sent us their support, to the oncology team who give their all to save lives and to all the bone marrow, blood and platelet donors who have helped me to win this big battle.