After being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2018, Christian Galea has been receiving care and treatment thanks to L-Istrina campaign.
Christian’s story began when he was working as a post-doctoral researcher in France. He was preparing to come back home and started feeling a bit more tired than usual. Blaming his tiredness on his travels, Christian thought nothing of it, but, more time passed, and he noticed a lump on his neck.
Not thinking too much of it, he went to his doctor and was prescribed some medication. The swelling went down, but Christian was still not feeling like himself.
After a lot of back and forth, a visit to the ENT, receiving opinions from four different doctors, and a lot of biopsies, Christian was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
By the time Christian got diagnosed, it was already the end of July 2019, more than a year after he experienced his first symptoms. Christian went from feeling tired to suffering from frequent fevers, feeling chilly in the midst of the Maltese heat, barely eating, and night sweats.
He was told that the stage of cancer that was plaguing his body was the highest level, stage IV-B.
Despite all of this bad news, a ray of hope shone through. Christian had an 80% chance of getting the all-clear within the first round of treatments. With his family and the support of Istrina, Christian went through the first round of treatment.
After 6 long weeks in the hospital, tests were done, and the good news was shared. Christian is now in remission!
This news was music to everyone’s ears, especially Christian’s mother, but the treatments weren’t done just yet. To be safe, the doctors administered a round of lower-intensity rays to be certain that all of the trace amounts of the disease were removed.
This meant that the Galea family could have a wonderful Christmas in 2019.
But, around 3 weeks later Christian started feeling tired again and tests showed that his cancer had started spreading again. The whole process started over again on the 3rd February 2020, this time with a stem cell transplant.
This is where L-Istrina really lent a helping hand. With Christian requiring costly treatment, he needed all of the support he could get.
Christian and his mother flew out to the UK, where their days were filled with hospital visits and adjusting to a new environment. Being surrounded by other Maltese people and living in the apartment building gave the Galea’s a sense of security.
This whole regimen of treatments and relocating to the UK were highly costly, but with the help of L-Istrina, Christian and his family did not need to worry about funding his treatments. All they needed to do was focus on helping Christian get better.
Christian himself describes l-Istrina as ‘a hugely welcome source of relief for patients such as myself requiring prolonged treatment which they cannot afford.’
This year, on the 26th December, make sure to tune into the Istrina telethon. Donate to this cause and help your neighbours when they are going through trying times. These situations may seem a bit unrealistic as everyone thinks that these things won’t happen to them.
Christian himself says that he also thought this, but now, having lived through his sickness, he says that he ‘would no longer be here to say these words if it were not for the assistance provided by the MCCFF and L-Istrina‘.
Make sure to switch on the TV and donate to this cause this year. Your small donation will help The Malta Community Chest Fund to build more houses and help patients like Christian receive the treatment that will save their lives.
Tag someone who should donate!