“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God.” Isaiah 41:10
I was given this beautiful Bible verse at my baptism last year. I am so happy that I took this step and entrusted my life to the Lord at the Easter conference in Hamm of that year. I thank God for this opportunity, because shortly after my 13th birthday, in April 2015, I was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML), a very aggressive form of blood cancer. I was admitted to the University of Münster, where I spent most of the next half year. I received five rounds of chemo. During this time, the congregation in Hamm and other local churches prayed for me, for which I was very grateful.
During the course of my therapy, we were told that my greatest chance of survival (up to 50%) would be if I had a bone marrow transplant. When it became clear that my sister was not an eligible donor, the search was extended to the bone marrow donor file. Soon, we were told that several matching donors had been found. The selected donor matched all ten criteria. God had answered our prayer.
Before being placed on isolation for the bone marrow transplant, I came down with severe pneumonia. I had to be transferred to the intensive care unit. At first, it was very hard for me to have to breathe day and night with an oxygen mask, but soon things got better, and God gave grace that my lungs recovered and I could leave the intensive care unit again.
After another complication, I was finally admitted to the bone marrow transplant center where I stayed in isolation for several weeks while my immune system was destroyed by extremely strong chemo drugs. Finally, the day for the transplant arrived. I received the bone marrow and, with that, a new immune system. The doctors told us that I would definitely get a fever again, but to the astonishment of the doctors, this never happened, thank God. After four weeks in isolation, I was allowed to leave my room for small outside excursions. After two more weeks, I was finally released to go home and only had to be treated on an outpatient basis.
I am especially grateful to my parents, who took turns to be with me in the hospital. All in all, I was out of school for a full year and was very happy when I could return to school again in April 2016. Currently, I have to return to the hospital every three months for a checkup, but I am doing well.
I would like to thank everyone very much for the many prayers that were sent up to God on my behalf. These gave me strength and courage. Please continue to pray for me that I might stay healthy and be faithful to God, to whom I owe so much.