10 month old Micah is Mark’s son. Mark is a core and family member of our APE Malaysia team. After having to go on sudden leave due to his son becoming ill in January, Mark presented us with the heart breaking news that Micah has been diagnosed with stage 3 neuroblastoma, a form of childhood cancer.
The news left us lost for words and devastated.
Mark is the hero of our habitat restoration team, passionately planting trees and motivating people to do the same for the survival of our orang-utans, pygmy elephants, sun bears and hornbills. He has inspired countless people with his dedicated approach not just to conservation but also to local community involvement.
Asking for financial help himself is not in his nature but it’s the one thing that is now needed to allow him and his family to care for Micah the best possible way.
Mark and Clare put their lives on hold as any parent would, left their other two young children (3 and 5) in the care of grandparents in Sandakan and left for Kota Kinabalu for further tests and immediate start of treatment in the form of 10 rounds of chemotherapy over approximately 10 months.
Neuroblastoma is a disease in which cancer cells form in nerve tissue of the adrenal gland, neck, chest, or spinal cord. It is the third most common childhood cancer and is often found in children under 5 years old.
Chemotherapy has just begun and tests to monitor response towards treatment will be required after every 3-4 treatment rounds: CT scan, tissue and bone marrow biopsies, blood and urine tests.
Two more tests need to be urgently carried out:
- MIBG scan to further assess the spread and stage of the cancer; and
- MYCN ampified oncogene test.
Both need to be done in Kuala Lumpur and are in addition to the 10 months of chemotherapy scheduled with the possibility for further investigative procedures that might be recommended following these two tests.
Micah's care throughout the 10-12 months has to be carefully considered due to his low immune system as a result of the chemotherapy. This means more changes and upheaval for the family.
With the immediate care of Micah being on the forefront of Mark’s mind, the financial burden cannot even be estimated yet.
Costs that need to be covered are:
- medical expenditure including all the tests and treatments;
- travel and accommodation logistics for the family;
- long term medical requirements.
a clearer picture of the full treatment required and out-of-pocket
becomes available, the APE Malaysia team, together with all our
supporters, friends and family are trying to help to raise funds in
support of Mark in giving brave little Micah the best available
treatment and care pos