Mom in desperate attempt to save little cancer patient

2014-08-04 00:00

FROM an initial diagnosis of a virus to hearing their young daughter has a rare form of childhood cancer, has set a Bluff family on an emotional journey.

Four-year-old Micah Peters was diagnosed with stage four Neuroblastoma in March 2013, after she began running severe fevers.

Neuroblastoma is a form of childhood cancer that attacks specialised nerve cells called neural crest cells. These cells are involved in the development of the nervous system and other tissues. According to Micah’s doctor, Monica Vaithilngum, only two percent of all cancer patients are children.

“Out of that two percent, Neuro­blastoma is one that we generally see in children but that does not make it common,” she said.

Micah’s mother, Jodie Peters, said after many nights of running to and from the doctor they were initially told it was just a virus that Micah had picked up.

“One day Micah began to complain that she has pain in her knee and I took her to the doctor.”

A month later Micah was diagnosed by Vaithilngum.

“As soon as a person hears cancer they think their child is going to die; it was very hard for my family to deal with,” said Peters.

Peters, a safety officer, left her job at one stage to come to grips with the diagnosis.

“I took time off work to deal with the situation and had been supported greatly by my colleagues.”

She said her family has taken a big knock as well.

“My nine-year-old son started to slack at school and my whole family had to see a psychologist.”

The toll on Micah was also severe.

“She would just lay there and not talk to anyone, she was even unresponsive with me.”

Peters said the support had also been tremendous from her family and friends who were always there to lend a hand.

And now they are pinning their hope that enough money can be raised for a bone marrow transplant, which, according to the doctor, is her best chance of surviving.

Micah is already undergoing several rounds of chemotherapy at Capital Oncology Hospital in Mayville, in order to prepare her body for a stem cell transplant.


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