As you might already know, Marco has had many challenges over the last year or so with a benign but fast-growing tumor in his nasal cavity and behind his eyes. After several very invasive surgeries we thought it was resolved but the tumor came back. The latest treatment was a lengthy coarse of proton therapy treatments donated by a great medical center just outside of Chicago.
As of Marco’s most recent MRI, he is tumor free! He will need to have followup MRIs every three months to make sure nothing comes back but as of right now, everything looks good.
Right now Marco is moving on with his life, doing well in school, playing on the orphanage soccer team, and looking forward to starting college in the fall.
Please keep up the prayers and give thanks to God for all He has done in Marco’s life.
After going in for a test last week, this week was Marco’s first real days of treatment. He was slightly nervous in the morning, wondering what Proton Therapy would feel like, but was all smiles following his hour-long treatment. He says he can feel slight vibrations sometimes in his head during treatment, but no discomfort or pain, which was a relief.
Afterwards, we had a meeting with his head doctor and one of the nurses where Marco was able to ask all his questions & received good news. Most importantly (as far as he is concerned) the treatment is going straight to the tumor through his face, so there will be no [major] hair loss, although he may lose a little around the forehead & temples.
Also - though he may suffer some fatigue as the coming weeks pass, he can stay as active as his body allows, which means that soccer practice is still a go (& even encouraged - though no headers are allowed :)). They gave us some medications for any skin irritation & said to keep him hydrated & eating lots of proteins, but that was as extensive as the directions got.
Last bit of good news from the meeting - there is no problem with him traveling as soon as treatment is over & any effects from treatment will last no longer than a couple of weeks afterwards, SO - he will be able to go directly home after the 6 weeks of treatment is up! Praise the Lord - we were excited to hear that.
Each Monday for the next 6 weeks we will have this meeting with his doctor and nurses, so if anyone else has anything they’d like to know about Marco’s treatment, let us know & we’ll ask this coming Monday! Also, tomorrow we’ve been invited to attend a luncheon for new patients & will learn much more about the Center & about Proton Therapy!
The team seeing Marco off at the airport, flying to the Midwest for his six-week proton therapy treatment. (traveling with Lauren at far right)
Our apologies for failing to update this blog in several months! As you know, Marco was granted life-saving surgery in Southern California back in October 2011, and underwent two more surgeries to remove the tumor in February of this year. Unfortunately, subsequent MRIs showed that the tumor had returned yet again. Multiple specialists recommended against further surgery, advising us to pursue proton treatment as the best option to hopefully shrink and eradicate the tumor.
A joint team made up of Siloé Clinic and Door of Faith volunteers sent out urgent appeals to every major proton center in the U.S. this summer–praying over every packet that went out and trusting that God would provide the care that Marco desperately needs to save his life.
Miraculously, TWO proton centers responded that they would like to donate treatment for Marco! Ultimately, ProCure Proton Therapy Center in Warrenville, IL (suburb of Chicago) turned out to be the best fit for Marco. Two families from the area have generously agreed to host Marco and Lauren, an orphanage volunteer, who will accompany Marco on his trip. In addition to receiving Marco’s treatment free of charge, we applied for and were awarded a grant to cover at least part of Marco’s and Lauren’s travel and living expenses.
We are so grateful to ProCure for answering our appeal and granting Marco with pro bono proton therapy. We continue to be blessed by all the individuals–missionaries, volunteers, host families–who have given their time and resources to help Marco. And we are in awe of God, and the way he brings circumstances and people together for his Glory.
Marco and Lauren left for the Midwest on Monday, Sep. 17. The treatment will last for approximately 4-6 weeks. Please pray for him and for the success of the proton therapy that he will undergo. We’ll keep you posted and add some pictures of Marco enjoying his US adventure!
Marco returned to Mexico last night (2/15/2012) and is happy to be home. He’s staying in a great home with some of our medical team for a few days while he continues to recuperate.
He’ll be on a special diet for a while until he can chew solid food again and it will be a while until his strength is back. Right now he’s sleeping a lot but doing very well. (aside from a slight eye infection)
Please continue to keep him in your prayers as he has a long road ahead of him.
The Staff at Door of Faith
Marco is doing much better on his way to recovery. He’s getting down blended food, walking some, and had a good day yesterday with lots of visitors. He’s in a regular room now (not ICU) and we’re working on pain management right now.
Please continue the prayers. Our hope is that he’s able to leave the hospital in the next few day and be back in Mexico by this weekend.
Marco will still have a few follow up appointments to check on the work that was done. We’re praying that the entire tumor was removed as ANYTHING left might grow back.
Thanks to everyone for the prayers, visits, and encouraging words.
Marco had an uncomfortable night in the ICU waiting to be extubated (removing the breathing tube). This morning the tube was removed and he is breathing well on his own.
He was cleared from ICU and moved into a regular room late this morning to continue recovery. We will continue to post updates as changes occur.
Thank you for all your prayers and support. Just because he is doing well does not mean the prayers can lighten up, he still has a long way to go.
The Team from Door of Faith
Marco’s surgeons just notified us that they have finished the second-round of surgery. After thoroughly exploring the area once again, they feel confident that there was no tumor left to remove.
He is doing well and will be returned to the ICU for recovery. They hope to have him up and walking around later today or tomorrow.
We are all ecstatic and grateful for the wonderful team that’s taken care of Marco here. Thank you for all your prayers and to those who have visited, brought us food, and encouraged us during this last week.
Please keep praying for Marco, that he would recover quickly and without complications.