My name is Marianna Makyeyeva and I am a single mother of my son Denis.
Denis is 11 years old and we live in Dublin.

News about the deadly diagnosis was very unexpected… Brain tumour… brain cancer, very rare type and hard-to -reach tumour. Shock, stress, tears and unwillingness to believe that that could happen, especially with my boy. The boy, who had a normal lifestyle with football, trainings, meetings with friends up until November, but now everything has changed. Questions like why, what am I done wrong, when will this end, when am I going to play football again and when can I go back to school. He asks a lot of these questions and they break my heart. Our life has changed completely. We stayed for one months in Temple hospital, after in Crumlin. Two brain surgeries, brain shunt, multiple IV drips, chemotherapy and upcoming radiotherapy. Headache, joint pains, nausea, vomiting, long hours in bed, hairloss, depression… these are only some of the side effects. Some of Denis’s friends come to visit him, they tell him what’s happening in the school, who is going to the running competition, where Denis had to go, who is going to the Maths olympiad, for which Denis was so hardly preparing. My son is always happy to see his friends, he listens to them, laughs and smiles. But when they leave, I spend hours and sometimes days to calm him down, to prevent him from depression.
The life is now divided into two: our real life in hospital and the one behind the windows, where people are happy. My son stays strong despite anything, he is very brave. One of two surgeries went not well and Denis’s condition deteriorated. It happened at night and we were waiting for the surgeon for 3 hours. When the doctor arrived, there was no time for the anesthesia. The surgical wound had to be cleaned and stitched without the anesthesia. Denis, my tiny little boy, he only asked me “Mummy tell me I won’t die”. He squeezed my hand, closed his eyes, he didn’t scream and only tears flowed down his cheeks. He is only 11 years old… why does he have to go through all this…

He already had 11 chemo sessions. Another 5 ahead. And then radiotherapy. And then, finally, I hope this nightmare will be over. I hope my son will recover and will go back to his happy normal life.