When there is a suspicion that a teenager or young adult suffers from cancer, one of the most debated issues nowadays is who is the most appropriate specialist for the treatment of these patients. The recommendation is usually to refer them to pediatric oncology centers, and this was the case of Marco Rene, a young man from Baja Sur, who for the last three years received medical care in the Pediatric Hemato-Oncology Unit (UHOP) of Salvatierra Hospital.
Marco Rene, from La Paz, BCS, was finishing high school and looking to start university when he received a news that changed his life. At 18 years of age, accompanied by his parents, sister, and grandfather, he heard the strong words “you have cancer.” The world collapses to anyone when hearing this. A million questions arise. Marco was afraid, he felt angry, but over time everything changed.
“It never crossed my mind that I was going to pass away, my family was my strength, they always motivated me to move forward.”
Marco was diagnosed with a T-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma. In February 2014, he began his treatment at the UHOP led by Dr. Altamirano. For Marco, the most difficult challenge of his illness was, not the shame of losing his hair, but feeling weak and not being able to recover. Emotionally it was quite a journey. His mother always accompanied him to his treatments, giving him strength and energy to keep fighting.
At the UHOP, Marco found a new home. The medical team of the hospital became part of his family, always available to give him all the love and attention. On December 6th, 2017, thanks to them and the support of his family, friends, non-profits, and government, Marco Rene received the news that he much wanted to hear, he was discharged to surveillance!
“I am a better person than before, I have learned to value life and not worry about the small things. Having cancer has made me stronger.”
Marco now shares this life lesson with everyone around him. With his example, he teaches us to enjoy and appreciate each day. Marco is currently 21 years old and has many plans for his future.
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