Dasha has been receiving treatment at the Dmitry Rogachev Centre for Paediatric Haematology since last May. Her illness, Ewing’s sarcoma, is a malign tumour that typically affects bones. The pain caused by this tumour is often initially mistaken for a consequence of physical trauma. This is what happened to Dasha – she had a fall, and her back began to hurt, but ordinary medicine didn’t help and the pain did not decrease with time.
That was when her parents decided to send her for an MRI scan. The scan revealed a spinal tumour, and Dasha was urgently sent to the regional hospital in Yekaterinburg. There, she underwent her first surgery to remove the tumour, but unfortunately the tumour kept growing. So Dasha was sent to a clinic in the capital, where she has since gone through six chemotherapy courses and is about to have another operation.Part of her spine will have to be removed together with the tumour, and a metal implant installed to replace it. Such complex surgery is the province of Prof. Ingo Melcher, a highly-qualified German surgeon from the Charité Campus Virchow clinic in Berlin. Prof. Melcher has already studied Dasha’s medical history, and will soon arrive in Moscow in order to conduct her surgery together with his Russian colleagues. This is much cheaper than sending a patient to be treated in Germany, since the only cost is that of paying the surgeon’s fee. The operation will cost 5,000 euros.
Dasha is very scared, but is still looking forward to the operation which will allow her to come home to her little brother, and to go back to school. Dasha fell ill in Year 5, and is continuing to study with tutors at the hospital in order not to fall behind.