Floor was fighting cancer. Blood transfusions gave her more energy. "This merciless confrontation with the importance of blood made the decision to donate easy."
When she was eight months old, a bump appeared on Floor's buttocks. A visit to the GP was the first step towards nine months of chemotherapy. That is when Floor's father decided to become a donor. "This merciless confrontation with the importance of blood made the decision to donate easy."
Floor stayed clean for a year, but the cancer came back. It was heartbreaking for her parents to see their small, happy toddler have to fight for her life again. A fight it seemed she had won, until last April. "It terrified me," says Floor about the day she heard the cancer was back. "I wanted to go home. Immediately."
Each bead has a meaning
Floor takes a bead necklace many meters long that is hanging from her closet, a so-called 'Kanjerketting' (hero's chain). All children with cancer in the Netherlands receive a 'bead diary' of treatment from the Parents, Children and Cancer Association. Each bead has a meaning. There are beads for chemotherapy, and for countless radiotherapy sessions. But also for emergency admissions, scans, injections, surgery, birthdays, radiotherapy, removing band aids. Floor points to one bead after another. "That," she points, "was an amazing day. That's when I got to go home." Then she points to a different bead: "That's the worst one: the bone scan."
There are three blue beads with red streaks around them: the blood transfusions. "Heading home with rosy cheeks", smiles father Robert. The transfusion increased the Hb levels decimated by the chemotherapy by two points, which had a major effect. Thanks to the donor blood, she celebrated her birthday at home and she was able to attend school as much as possible.
The treatment worked, the fight with cancer won once more. And the chain of beads? Except for a few beads for the check-up scans, it's full. It is time to put it away, Floor decides with her mother. "It's time."