Antuanette was born a healthy child. She was a bit small, but nothing out of the ordinary. Antuanette’s mother breastfed her since she was born, so they would always be in close physical contact with each other.
On an ordinary day, while breastfeeding her, she felt a lump on Antuanette’s ribcage. She and her husband, went to the doctor to get the lump examined. In less than a week Antuanette and her father were off to Groningen in The Netherlands where they instantly learned she had Welms Tumor, which is a common type of kidney cancer in children. One can only consider how important the close physical contact with her mother was in an early detection of Antuanette’s health condition.
Being a mother that breastfeeds her child, it was particularly difficult for her having to stay on the island and not being able to go along with her husband and sick child. This was also a period in which Antuanette’s fathers life would completely change.
Antuanette received her first chemo therapy and within just a few days all of her hair started falling out. This was the beginning of an incredible bond between father and daughter. Days and sleepless nights went by and day by day he saw and felt how his child completely changed on a physical level. After three months of chemo therapy she underwent surgery to remove the infected kidney.
“The fact that we stayed in a RMHC in Groningen was truly a blessing. I am very thankful for the continuous support we received from all of the volunteers at the house and also guidance from professional counselors”.
Being able to stay near to Antuanette was essential for the peace of mind of father and daughter.