Are you a parent? Or a grandparent? Or an uncle or aunt? Do you know parents of a child with cancer. Even if none of the above, would you help a baby with brain cancer on the other side of the world if you had the chance?
Marta Maja Maksic is a baby girl, born in the small town of Sabac, Serbia to parents Marijana and Milos Maksic, February 5th, 2018. She was just 6 months old when diagnosed with brain cancer.
She is now two and has had eight surgeries to date, in addition to chemotherapy treatments and radiation. Marta's mother is not working and her father's income is not enough to cover the cost of her medical care. They now have to sell their family's home to pay for the ongoing medical treatment. Economic conditions in Serbia are not good and medical care is very expensive.
I learned about Marta's plight when I dropped into the bakery of Rod and Daniela Gavric, Maksic family friends, for a coffee while waiting for tires to be installed on my car in a nearby tire store. Rod and Daniela met the Maksic family when they bought an adjacent property in Serbia. Their granddaughter is the same age as Marta and when they heard she was very sick, they pledged to help. It came to my attention when I saw a campaign poster of Marta on the wall in Daniela and Rod's store, The Rustic Bread Bakery.
Just recently the doctors found another tumor inside Marta's skull. They stopped the chemo and decided to carry out more surgery. The procedure was successful and the doctors said the tumor that was located on the bone of the skull was removable and had not spread. When she recovered from surgery, they continued the chemo and the radiation. Her vision has returned but not 100%.
Pediatric brain tumors are masses or growths of abnormal cells that occur in a child's brain or the tissue and structures that are near it. These abnormal cells can occur both in the womb and after a baby is born. Many different types of pediatric brain tumors exist — some are noncancerous (benign) and some are cancerous (malignant). In Marta's case, the tumor is very malignant.
Treatment and chance of recovery depend on the type of tumor, its location within the brain, whether it has spread, and the child's age and general health.
Because new treatments and technologies are continually being developed, several options may be available at different points in treatment. However, treatment for brain tumors in children is typically quite different from treatment for adult brain tumors, so it's very important to enlist the expertise and experience of pediatric specialists in neurology and cancer.
Having two very healthy grandchildren ages 18 months and 8 months, my heart went out to this family, hence my decision to help. I have created a Go-Fund me account if you chose to help this family.
Marta is an amazing little fighter against this horrible disease. If you find in your heart to support this family, please click on the image or the link. No amount is too small when a precious life is at stake.