The story of Lizeth’s illness begins when she was just 18 months old. She was a very playful and loveable baby, however, one week she developed a fever that just rose and fell and made her pale and anxious.
At first, I thought it was a cold, but took Lizeth to the doctor to be safe. After running a few tests, the pediatrician concluded that Lizeth had anemia and prescribed iron pills. The next day, I still felt uneasy, and took Lizeth back to the doctor for more tests. An ultrasound was taken of Lizeth’s stomach and before I knew it, the doctor had me on the phone urging me to take Lizeth to the emergency at once.
After 18 days in the hospital, undergoing one test after another, Lizeth was finally diagnosed with Langerhans cell histiocytosis. The syndrome was affecting Lizeth’s liver, bone marrow and skin. Doctors decided to treat Lizeth as though she had cancer, and she began receiving chemotherapy and blood platelet transfusions.
It was sad to know that my daughter was in the hospital getting worse by the day, and what made the situation even harder was that we didn’t truly know what was going on.
My husband, Mario, and I never thought we’d find ourselves in our situation. Our other children were deeply affected by Lizeth’s illness. Sometimes, my kids’ questions -- about how Lizeth was doing, how she was feeling or why was she sick -– made me feel as though I was suffocating.
Two of my children were so troubled by what was going on at home that they were held back a year at school. Mario grew very desperate because he always focused on the worst and felt useless when it came to helping his daughter.
I’ll never forget how much we prayed for Lizeth’s health.
My family is thankful for the support we received from family and friends, who stayed by our side even in the roughest of times. Lizeth’s illness completely changed everyone’s life. Now, we focus less on materials thing and more on just enjoying life and finding happiness with one another.
After undergoing a year of treatment, Lizeth is now fully recovered. She truly is a miracle from God. She’s doing so much better now. It’s as though nothing ever happened.
My family enjoys attending Starlight Great Escapes family events because they bring opportunities to bond with other families going through the same situation. We have been to Starlight Halloween events, winter holiday parties, pool parties and Mother’s Day celebrations. Starlight makes families smile and makes EVERY child feel special. My kids have so much fun at Starlight events, and I thank them for all they do.
-Starlight Mom Marisol