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History of Charlie Braveheart Foundation

5-year old Charlie’s life, and the lives of all of her family, suffered a horrendous and devastating change on May 10th 2017. She was diagnosed, that day, with Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). Intensive chemotherapy began immediately at the Emma Children’s Hospital at the AMC (Amsterdam) under the inspired guidance of paediatric oncologist Dr. Marianne van der Wetering and her team.

Three weeks later a further setback occurred when Charlie was confronted with her first set of complications. The cocktail of medications to suppress side effects and symptoms would often made her feel worse than the leukemia itself.

The resilience that a young child shows in such extreme circumstances is extraordinary and almost beyond belief. The family and medical specialists do their utmost to minimise trauma, as far as possible, throughout.

However, the acute shortage of adequate remedies treating pain and stress prevention soon became painfully apparent. The taking of blood samples, introducing an intravenous drip needle, placing a Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter (PICC), inserting a tube, or fixing a port-a-cath suddenly become a terrifying and excruciating part of daily reality. These painful but moreover frightening experiences can scar a child’s spirit forever.

Charlie’s situation, sadly, is not unique. Far too many children are having to cope today with similarly grim tortures. Charlie’s parents and grandparents felt compelled to set up the ‘Charlie Braveheart’ Foundation in order to “make the unbearable somewhat more bearable” for all of these children.

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