No parents should have to bury their children and when this mom was told her daughter had six months to live, you better believe she did everything she could to keep her child alive. The fight was not an easy one, but Rene Nel’s determination made all the difference for her daughter, Linke. Rene and her husband already had three children when Linke was born and things were great for their new addition for the first 14 months of her life.
At 14 months, however, she came down with pneumonia. When nothing seemed to help her get over the illness, her parents took the child to the doctor, who referred them to a larger hospital.
The nearest hospital that could help them was a four-hour drive from their farm in South Africa, but they knew that Linke needed to see these doctors. The diagnosis wasn’t optimistic: their daughter had leukemia.
They began the treatment process, but after six months of chemotherapy, their doctors didn’t believe Linke would live to see her second birthday. Rene explained to Weekend Today: “When you’ve been told your child is going to die, I just couldn’t accept that, I thought I’d fight with everything until the end and there has to be something out there, there has to be some treatment that could help Linke.”
Rene put in the time to research everything she could, looking for an alternative treatment and diagnoses, sending out 130 emails in hopes of getting some assistance. She only received one reply, from a Westmead Hospital doctor, Dr. Luciano Dalla-Pozza.
Dr. Dalla-Pozza wanted to help, but said the family would have to move to Australia and there were no guarantees that the treatments would even work.
It was a risk they knew they had to take, as Rene noted, “Moving was hard but when you’re not given a choice, the only option is to give your child a chance at life. We just had to do it.”
After a month of being part of the clinical trial for an experimental therapy, Linke was in remission and this amazing outcome was not lost on Rene. She remarked, “I see life in a total different way. I’m thankful for the smallest things, even the naughty bits.”
She added: “Every day in the life of Linke is remarkable. Just the way she jumps up and does a ballet turn, and a little curtsy afterwards, the thankfulness you have towards that is just…it’s an everyday thing.”
Linke has definitely beaten the odds, celebrating her sixth birthday and showing no signs of slowing down.
Those who weighed in with comments on the story were truly overwhelmed, with one person writing: “What a lovely story — all good wishes to this family and may Linke have many happy years of life. It shows that no one should ever say there is no hope — many diseases are curable via a different approach, and a lot of that is because every human is different and our bodies are much more complicated than even the medical world understands. Pride in their own expertise stops many medical people from having an open mind, and Big Pharma pushes for you to use THEIR products, making it hard for those wishing to try new ideas. What this mum did was entirely the right way to view the situation!”