On January 3rd, 2002 Aitana Patricia Vera Dzib and Inara Georgina Vera Dzib were born. These two beautiful twins became the light of their family. They were both happy and healthy babies… Girls, but Aitana was a natural leader. She was always the one with the “great” ideas for them to do; she was a menace, one could say. She was always climbing on trees, walls, or wherever she could climb or hang like a monkey. She was the first one to ride the bike, the one that won the races, etc.
Until she was seven… She was ready to travel to NY with her mom and was excited about it but was not feeling well. She did not want to complain about the pain she was feeling because she didn’t want to spoil the trip.
And the crusade begins… The doctor asked to run some tests on Aitana because he thought it was hepatitis. When he saw the results, he thought it was a false-positive so he had them done again. He tells the family that Aitana has leukemia (!!!) and to take her to the nearest hospital quickly.
Aitana was taken to the IMSS (Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social) where they said they did not have what it takes to care for her and that she needed to be taken to Merida. The family also tried at the ISSTE (Instituto del Seguro Social para Trabajadores del Estado) and got the same answer “cannot care for her”. Next, they went to a private hospital and after spending a night there and after running new tests, they came up with the same answer. “We don’t have the means to take care of her, not even a pediatric oncologist.” There were none in Cancun; they had to take her to Merida.
Waiting for an ambulance to take her to Merida felt like forever. Instead, the family decided to take her on a private truck, ignoring clinical severity due to lack of information from the doctors. The family had to split; mom and dad went with Aitana to Merida, and Yoselin, Evelyn, and Inara had to stay in Cancun to attend school. From here on, that’s how life continued. In Merida, Aitana had some relatives close to her who went to visit and even people from Cancun would visit because it is not that far.
When Merida was not enough, the last hope for Aitana was the transplant of bone marrow in Mexico City. The family took her there. Now they had to face something different, finding a place to stay while Aitana is on treatment, transportation, etc. It was tough times as now there were no relatives nearby.
Everyone was sad. Aitana missed her home, her sisters, her friends, and even her dad who had to work and could not be with her the whole time. The other girls missed Aitana… they all wanted to be together again, but only could occasionally. This went on for 2 years.
Aitana was a fighter and was not willing to give up that easy. While in hospitals she tried to help other sick kids. There, the family and Aitana saw so many people that did not have the means to travel, to pay for a room to sleep in, or to even buy food. So many people that did not know who to go to for help, who were desperate. People whose child or relative was sick and they didn’t have the money to make all those necessary trips. Yusi Evelyn Dzib Echevarría tried to help and guide as many as she could, but she also had to take care of Aitana.
On February 2, 2011 Aitana left us to become our guardian angel.
After seeing all the needs that people have when they face having cancer in the family, Aitana’s parents wanted to continue helping these people. Something Aitana would have wanted for sure based on how she was always looking to help and support other patients.
This how Fundación Aitana was born.