Gillian's battle with bone cancer
While many Jamaicans are making preparation for the festive season, Gillian Walcott is mulling over whether she should go through another round of chemotherapy to reduce the gargantuan tumour in her left leg that the previous two rounds of chemotherapy failed to shrink.
"They said that I am to do another chemotherapy now, but I don't think that make any sense because the chemo [is] not shrinking it. It is only making it bigger," Walcott said.
The 19-year-old has a type of bone cancer known as chondrosarcoma.
Chondrosarcoma is cancer composed of cells derived from transformed cells that produce cartilage. Chondrosarcoma is a member of a category of tumours of bone and soft tissue known as sarcomas.
According to Walcott, she developed a pain in her left thigh last November. The pain became steadily intense until it felt unbearable.
"Around February, it started getting severe. So from there, I started going to various doctors and they were saying that it was muscle pain because it is swollen and it soon go down," Walcott recalled.
But Walcott's swollen leg never went down and she kept on searching for an answer at various medical practices. She told THE STAR that she visited a herbalist in April of this year and she discovered that there was a tumour in her leg.
"The herbalist told me that I have a tumour in the leg but she didn't know if it was cancerous. So I went back to KPH (Kingston Public Hospital) and they did some ultrasound and X-rays and they revealed that it was cancerous," Walcott said.
Walcott's illness has set back her family financially. Her mother, Evan Latty, gave up her 9-5 job to tend to the 24-hour needs of her daughter.
"It's almost like a full-time job for me now because I have to be here every day for her. Mi just affi stop work fi help with her, because you know say I have be here right round the clock," Latty said.
"Sometimes we can't even afford some of the medications. Her father does what he can do, but sometimes it is not enough."
Since Walcott has been admitted to the KPH, Latty has been whispering the same prayer every night.
"Every night mi say to God that if mi go there (KPH) and she start walk again, I would praise God for the rest of my life. In fact, that Sunday mi would get baptised," Latty promised.
Walcott has set up a gofundme account to raise money to continue her treatment. She is seeking assistance as she continues the fight with cancer. https://www.gofundme.com/4z-gillians-medical-fund