Pipit (Ken) Ratanatam was diagnosed in December 2017 with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), a rare childhood brain cancer. We live in Bangkok, Thailand, and plan to go to Monterrey, Mexico, for intra-arterial chemotherapy and immunotherapy, which is not offered in Thailand.
Ken previously had radiation treatment in Thailand, and the tumor had reduced significantly. However, one year after diagnosis, the tumor is still progressive. This has severely debilitated Ken in walking and talking, and even to eat or drink. As a DIPG tumor begins to grow, it puts pressure on the nerves that control essential body functions. The next phase of symptoms for Ken includes double visions, reduced eye movements, and facial weakness and asymmetry.
The average survival time for a patient with DIPG is 9 months, but we are not giving up. We have applied to treatment programs around the world, in the USA, the UK, Germany, and Japan, but they were reluctant to take Ken's case as the tumor is progressive. Though there is not much time left, we are willing to take a risk with this new treatment in Mexico, even with the high costs that include moving our family there. This intra-arterial treatment in Mexico has become highly sought after by DIPG families and is quickly moving up as a top treatment option.
The cost for each intra-arterial chemotherapy is around USD16,000 and immunotherapy session is around US$16,000. The estimated time between each treatment is 17-35 days. The total cost for 10 intra-arterial treatments, 4 immunotherapy and other complementary treatment is estimated to be US$250,000.
Ken has already been accepted by the Instituto de Oncología Intervencionista (IDOI) in Mexico. We plan to put our jobs on hold and bring Ken there for the treatments by late November this year, in 2018. Your financially support will give Ken a fighting chance against DIPG, and Ken’s life is more important to us than anything. We cannot do this without your support.