A happy teenage
Marie-Léa is a 15-year-old girl who, like all her friends, has fun, studies, laughs, dreams and has big plans for her future. Very studious, she makes the school her priority, wondering at each test what will be her mark. She is also very pretty and pays attention to her appearance. “My biggest stress in my life was: am I going to have a good score at the next test? And … is my hair well styled?”.
The terrible news
But in January 2013, during the Christmas holidays, Marie-Léa feels very tired, coughs, complains of chest pains and loses her appetite. Her mother immediately takes her to a doctor. Nothing alarming but, as a precaution, the doctor prescribes a lung x-ray. The radiologist calls them in and announces that the x ray reveals spots. Marie-Lea then goes to the Kremlin Bicêtre hospital and spends two days doing a lot of examinations.
It is then that the diagnosis falls: “I learn that in the end, I have cancer, well, a “Hodgkin lymphoma” they tell me, because the word CANCER is scary”. Marie-Lea has only one question in her mouth “Will I lose my hair? “
Transferred to Gustave Roussy, she is followed by Dr. Gaspard who explains how the next months will unfold.
The first two months are the hardest: hair loss (what Marie-Léa dreaded the most), aplasia (anemia), mucositis (mouth ulcers), weight loss, allergy to chemotherapy … It ends even by not being able to walk: “it will take me several months to walk faster than a grandma of 110 years!” In parallel, her entourage is unfailingly supportive and allows her to fight on a daily basis: “I have received a tsunami of love, from my family, my friends, my entourage. They called me, sent me jokes every morning by SMS, came to make surprise visits to the hospital, sent me survival packages. “
The following four chemotherapies are less difficult. Her hair is growing back and finally Marie-Léa learns good news: she will not have to do radiotherapy.
After her last day of chemotherapy on July 3, 2013, Marie-Léa is finally able to breathe a little after 8 months of intense battle with the disease. She goes on holiday to “breathe fresh air, laugh with her friends, enjoy the sun”, little things that make her incredibly happy: “I take two seconds to see the happiness around me and memorise it. ”
A fight that she wins
On January 24, 2018, Marie-Léa learns that she is officially cured. Since then, she lives from day to day and savours every moment. “Having cancer at age 15 made me grow and mature much faster than my peers. It’s still a part of my life because my weaker health makes me often absent or more tired than others. I know that being young does not mean I am invincible, so I try not to waste time worrying about anything, surrounding myself with smiling and positive people, and especially enjoying every moment. “
During all these months of fighting the disease, Marie-Léa never stopped her schooling, continuing to study at the hospital. She obtained her baccalaureate with honors (honors!). And is now in the second year of prep engineer in physics chemistry.
Let’s get active for all other little warriors.
Marie-Léa fought like a warrior. His story is one of hope for all the little warriors fighting cancer. Marie-Léa had a cancer of the lymphatic system, one of the cancers that heal best. Unfortunately, some children have very bad cancers, for which there are no or few treatments, and whose diagnosis is very dark. Thus, 500 children die each year from cancer in France and 6,000 in Europe.
This is why Imagine for Margo is actively funding research against childhood cancer to give children with cancer access to innovative treatments.
Together, let’s collect donations for research and give this hope of healing to all the little warriors!
Click here to donate.