8-year-old cancer patient wants to be a doctor
Grade 2 student Harison Narvaez, who lives in Camarines Sur with his parents, dreams of becoming a doctor someday so that he can help patients with cancer like him.
The 8-year-old was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) stage 3 in 2019 when he was admitted to Philippine Children’s Medical Center (PCMC) in Quezon City. NHL is a form of cancer that begins in white blood cells called lymphocytes. It affects the lymphatic and immune system.
Narvaez’s mother, Sharon, said her son had “aggressively” growing bumps in the groin area, neck, chest and stomach which cause pain all over his body.
To monitor his condition, he has to undergo a CT scan and bone marrow test.
PCMC doctors have recommended a 3-year chemotherapy treatment consisting of 16 cycles per year. Narvaez is about to start his second year of chemo with each cycle costing over 433,000.
Most of the cost of the chemo cycle goes to the medicines used during treatment. One of these is rituximab, which helps prevent the production of more tumor cells. Each vial costs P89,269 and Narvaez needs four vials per cycle.
On top of this, he needs to take his medication regularly consisting of co-trimoxazole (thrice a week), methotrexate (once a week) and mercaptopurine (twice a week).
Last year was a good year for him but recently, he started experiencing pain again. He was supposed to go with Sharon to PCMC on March 18 to begin chemotherapy but they both need to undergo swab tests first, in addition to coming up with the money to pay for treatment.
The pandemic has left Narvaez’s father, the sole breadwinner of the family, without a job as he cannot ply his tricycle route due to lockdown regulations. Sharon said that they had been dependent on her mother for their needs but she was also struggling financially.
“We cannot afford to pay for all of my son’s medications because we don’t have a huge amount of money, but we get by through God’s mercy,” Sharon told the Inquirer. “I wish that he will get well from his sickness and have a long life.”
Those who want to help Narvaez may deposit their donations in his BDO account no. 003640588414. Sharon can be contacted at tel. 0951-7563997.
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