My name is Chhoun Socheata, I am 31 years old and I am an online teacher, teaching English and Khmer (Cambodian language). I have two children, a 10-year-old daughter, and a 6-year-old son. My goal in the future is to own a school, which teaches English/Khmer that I can train Cambodian children as well as earning an income for my family.
I started to notice that I was tired and had regular headaches, vomiting, and frequent. Then I began to do several blood tests/lumbar punctures. On May 2021, I found out that I did have CML. This result made my world turned upside down and I cried and cried, was very depressed by the news. There were also many questions came to my mind, who’s going to take care of my family? How am I going to have the money for this ongoing treatment? My condition got worse, I lost a lot of weight from 58 kg to only 35 kg, could not eat and became very exhausted every day.
At first, I was treated at Sihanoukville Public Hospital and many private hospitals, but I was still very ill, no sign of getting any better. Then, I was sent back to Siem Reap province for treatment, and the private Siem Reap hospital told me about my condition and that I had to go to Calmette Hospital right away, which located in Phnom Penh. Once I got to Calmette Hospital, I was treated there for nine days, by intravenous (IV) and blood transfusion. Between the Calmette hospital and other private hospitals I have spent over $10 000. Due to my lack of funds, Calmette doctors remembered that there was another hospital, which was Mercy Medical Center Cambodia (MMCC) that provide free medicine for me as a cancer patient. Then I went to MMCC in Phnom Penh for further treatment, receiving the right treatment from the doctor and free oral medication (Glivec) there through the MAS Program.
This treatment is very important for me because it gives me a lot of hope, can live like a normal person and can monitor the progress of my disease. I am so happy to continue living with my family. Thank you to The Max Foundation for providing me the free medication. I am grateful beyond words can express.
I would like to tell all CML patients, do not be discouraged and live happy and with hope, because we have a good medication that can help save our lives.