We would like to share the letter written by the mother of Nora Šitum, a young girl who is suffering from acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Little Nora has a chance to be cured at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, however treatment costs 575 thousand dollars, about 3.3 million kuna. Help Nora Fora, the fierce lion, by calling the humanitarian hotline number 060 800 558 or make a contribution to the bank account at PBZ 2340009-3110426252.
“Nora Šitum is 5 years and 8 months old. She is one special and very unusual human being. Those who know her can vouch for this. And those who don’t, well, they should get to know her!
Her short and carefree childhood was rudely interrupted on December 1, 2010 when she was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. That day turned our lives upside down. That day turned our lives into a living hell. Our fight started that day. The fight for life.
We arrived at the children’s hematology and oncology department at the University Hospital Centre Rebro in Zagreb, Croatia, where Nora endured long and torturous therapy that lasted for 9 whole months. Nothing went according to plan from the very beginning and already on the 27th day of treatment Nora was in a coma. She remained in a coma for 11 whole days by which time the doctors were already preparing for the worst. Then, out of the blue, she woke up and her life started all over. She learned how to walk again, talk again, eat again… This little girl is really quite amazing. This little girl with a big heart and even greater strength! She completed her treatment and we finally returned home so she could recover. We slowly returned to a normal life, albeit one full of tablets, blood samples and tests, but at least we were at home, we were all together and soon she regained her health! A full ten months passed before the damn disease returned – suddenly, without warning, without any time to prepare, most cruelly and treacherously. And then…all over again! Again to the hospital. Again shock. Again endless rounds of chemotherapy. And so it went on for 6 months, but again she overcame the disease and, everything was good….but then it happened all over again! The disease had come back. To date she has had to endure this disease three whole times!
80% of children suffering from leukemia recover from the disease. They all go through a crisis phase, they all have to endure the anguish, but one day, fortunately, they are left just with the terrible memories.
Nora Fora is unfortunately in the 20%, but is nevertheless as strong as a lion. Or a brave and fierce lion, as she herself likes to say.
For Nora there are no more drugs. Her doctors, pediatric hematologists at the University Hospital Rebro in Zagreb, are amazing people. They have done everything they can, both for my little lion as well as for all the other children, but they are only people, not Gods. They have nothing left to give. The disease has become resistant to everything.
But somehow, a small ray of light always appears somewhere at the end of the tunnel. And so, we learned of a new type of treatment being offered at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia which was featured heavily in the press six weeks ago, just as Nora reached her last line of defense, the last drug that might save her. But it hasn’t.
This is our only and last chance. It is this or waiting helplessly at her bedside, counting the hours and days before the life of my little lion is finally over. What parents can do that when they know that there is still some hope out there?
We contacted the hospital in Philadelphia and the doctors have already sent the medical documentation. They are now waiting for us, but time is not on our side as it is passing quickly and with each day the disease is taking its dreadful toll on Nora. In this state, without further treatment, she cannot live for much longer.
In 8 days’ time, we ought to be boarding a plane to take us on to the next battle, the most important one and the last chance. Hand-in-hand with us, Nora Fora versus leukemia. She can do it! If anyone can endure this, it’s mom’s little lion. That’s our Nora Fora. You don’t know her yet but you should meet her. After so many battles and so much struggling she has deserved to win the war. Your help can make this new type of treatment available to her. It will make it possible for other children as well, and make the survival rate 100% not 80%.
As always, the problem is money.
The cost of the treatment is $575,000, which is around 3.3 million Croatian kuna, an amount that simply makes my head spin. We don’t have that sort of money and so we are asking for your help, for the sake of Nora Fora, for her mom’s little lion, and for all the children who, God forbid, may find themselves in this position. Let us break through this barrier together
When we do return, you will get to know our Nora Fora, this fascinating little human being…you will see for yourself. We will overcome! In short…WE MUST!”
Bank Account Number:
PRIVREDNA BANKA ZAGREB 2340009-3110426252
(account owner, Đana Atanasovski, mother)
Reference Number 00 25052007
Nora Fora – Strašni lav