Maktub: The space we’d dreamed of
The Maktub Center for bone marrow transplants is our dream come true! We opened it three years ago, and so far 142 children and teenagers have passed through its doors to receive a transplant. Maktub is a pioneering center with top-notch sanitary conditions so that our little ones can make it through the isolation period in a friendly, colorful environment with lots of natural light that helps them feel less like they are stuck in a hospital.
The center gets its name from a movie directed by our president, Paco Arango. All the money raised from the movie went towards the center, within the Hospital Niño Jesús in Madrid. With a cost of €1 million, Maktub is one of Aladina’s largest projects, along with the recently debuted children’s ICU at the Hospital Niño Jesús.
Each detail has been carefully planned so that our little ones are comfortable: natural light that comes in directly from Retiro park’s gardens, six large isolation rooms that give them space to move around and exercise, rounded corners that make the area feel cozier, colorful decoration to cheer the kids up, and even special artificial lighting designed to increase their visual comfort.
Their smiles are the best reward!
Hi, my name is Ibai Gabantxo and I'm 10 years old. I started to feel ill when I was just 5, and after...Hi, my name is Ibai Gabantxo and I'm 10 years old. I started to feel ill when I was just 5, and after a blood test, I was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. I started a chemotherapy treatment, but during the second phase my parents were told I would need a bone marrow transplant, so the following year I was taken to Madrid, to be transplanted with my mother's bone marrow, in the Hospital Niño Jesús. My mother was only 60% compatible with me, but we couldn't wait any longer for another donor, because I could have had a relapse at any time. I would like to thank my mother for being my bone marrow donor, as thanks to her, I am able to tell you all a little bit about my experience and time in the "Niño Jesús". At the beginning, I didn't much like the injections, and being surrounded by machines, and being isolated for such a long time: it was so boring. I was in isolation for a really long time, and everyone had to be really careful for any signs of rejection. Unfortunately, I did reject the transplant and I had to have another one. I started to get really painful cystitis: once I even fell out of bed in pain - but that was normal as I was peeing all day long... I also had graft-versus-host disease in my intestine and skin. But when I was feeling well, I would spend all my time wishing for the afternoons, because the Niño Jesús is a special hospital. It has a theatre, with magicians, storytellers and clowns, a school, a workshop, where we made decorations, bracelets, brooches, drawings and lots more with Asion and the Fundación Aladina, which would bring me everythingggg I wanted, every afternoon: a computer, PSP, Nintendo, Xbox and loads of games... Their volunteers were the best - when I felt well, they would stay with me for a long time, playing, dressing up, decorating the hospital over Halloween. They even brought Rey Misterio to visit all the kids in the hospital. Thanks to Paco for making me laugh when I felt terrible, with his magic tricks, and to the doctors, nurses, helpers, cleaners, etc.. because this illness has been complete hell to go through, I cannot imagine what it would have been like without them. I'm now slowly getting better, and I didn't realise how strong I was until life put me to the test. For this reason, I would like to ask everyone to become bone marrow donors, it's the best thing you could ever do. So that is my story, and I hope that anyone else's ends up like mine too.See moreIbai
Amanda is 11 years old and from Madrid. She began to feel unwell in 2008, when she was only 7, and following...Amanda is 11 years old and from Madrid. She began to feel unwell in 2008, when she was only 7, and following a series of tests, she was diagnosed with leukemia. She began chemotherapy treatment in the Niño Jesús Hospital, where she had to stay for almost one year. Despite the harshness of the treatment, when she was feeling well, she would enjoy fun and happy moments in the hospital, which she shared with Fundación Aladina volunteers and other 'fighters' like herself. Amanda loved doing hairstyles on other girls, as well as dancing and competing in 'Guitar Hero', so whenever she could, she used to spend her time playing as much as possible. In 2009, her treatment finished and she could at last go home. Without doubt, this was one of the best pieces of news that could be given to her parents, Adolfo and Margarita. A leukemia diagnosis will inevitably be a cause of fear and uncertainty during some time of the illness. Nevertheless, both Amanda and her parents have always kept up a strong, fighting spirit. This helped them to face what happened next. In September 2011, Amanda suffered a late relapse. As a result, she had to undergo two extremely strong chemotherapy cycles, and be prepared for a stem cell transplant. In January 2012, she had the stem cell transplant. It was not easy to begin with, as Amanda had to remain in isolation for some time, and a time came when she simply couldn't bear being isolated so much. In addition, following the transplant, she had a few problems that affected her liver, eyes and skin. Nevertheless, after a storm comes a calm. Things got better, and eventually she only needed to go to the Day Hospital on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. This is Amanda's story. For the time being, she is a happy girl, in great spirits, and looking forward to her holidays in the mountains.See moreAmanda