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Nov 23, 2012

Catarina Ishim, the girl who survived large cancerous tumor

But there is some good news tonight involving Catarina Ishim who you met months ago on this station. The young girl from San Pablo, Toledo caught the attention of the nation because a massive tumor kept recurring, even after surgeries in Belize. A News Five reporter at the time was instrumental in securing treatment for Catarina in the US and we were happy to reconnect with the young girl today when she returned home. News Five’s Delahnie Bain reports.

 

Delahnie Bain, Reporting

Eight months ago, twelve year old Catarina Ishim left Belize known as the girl with the face tumor; she returned today a success story and an inspiration to everyone around her. Her heartwarming story began over two years ago when Catarina was diagnosed with a rare and malignant tumor that grew the size of a football and weighed about four pounds. But after intensive surgeries in Knoxville, Tennessee, Catarina was welcomed home tumor and cancer free.

 

Catarina Ishim, Cancer Survivor

“I’m happy. I just want to thank Belize because they help me.”

 

Monica Bodden

“You can’t wait to go back to your village and see your friends and family and everyone?”

 

Catarina Ishim

“Yeah.”

 

Catarina Ishim

Monica Bodden

“And get back to school?”

 

Catarina Ishim

“Yeah.”

 

Delahnie Bain

“So how was it over in Tennessee?”

 

Catarina Ishim

“It’s good, I like it.”

 

Delahnie Bain

“You’re gonna miss the Glovers?”

 

Catarina Ishim

“Yeah.”

 

Juan Ishim

Catarina was accompanied for the treatment by her grandfather, Juan Ishim who says it’s been a struggle, but it was all worth it and he is glad to finally be home.

 

Juan Ishim

“I am very excited and I’m very happy. I can’t describe how much I am very happy to be home with my granddaughter Catarina. She is very well, okay now. It’s very hard. She finds it very hard. We are struggling like I said; we are struggling to much. But she doesn’t know; she was sleeping like she was dead. She didn’t know nothing at all. The first day she shake up herself; she come out of the surgery at three o’clock in the morning and then she wakes at three o’clock in the evening. Then from there I call her name and she heard her name but she couldn’t speak. I told her Catarina can you hear me and she only shake her head. When she need my help she only rang a bell.”

 

Pediatrician, Dr. Rick Glover and his wife, Lori, hosted Catarina and Juan in Knoxville and facilitated the surgeries.

 

Rick Glover

Dr. Rick Glover, Pediatrician

“One surgery was twenty hours long and over about four days she had over forty hours of surgery and she doesn’t remember any of it which is great, but we remember all of it. Juan and I got to struggle through that and my family. From that, once she got out of the hospital within three weeks of all these major surgeries she was at our house. Still not wanting to eat much, we slowly got her nutritional status up, but she has been a trooper through everything—very brave, very strong, very dedicated to getting well and getting home.”

 

Juan Ishim

“After she get through with the surgery then she goes through the chemo. The doctor said that she would take twenty-two weeks of chemo treatment and I said lord, when I am going home. I cried but when things start to happen it just happens one after the other. So up to today now, we are at home and we are very happy to be at home.”

 

In the past, Catarina underwent two surgeries, but the tumor returned. Dr. Glover says it is not expected to recur and she will not require any further medical follow ups. The plan now is for her to return to school.

 

Dr. Rick Glover

“From a medical standpoint, she is totally free from cancer. She has some disabilities to learn to work with, but when you are around her for about ten minutes, you realize she’s not very disabled at all. So she’s been reading, doing her school work in Tennessee and trying to keep up so that she can get right back into school in January and go right on like a normal child from San Pablo. She is just ready to go on with life.”

 

Juan Ishim

“She will be going back to school. Everything is normal like before. Everything is normal, everything is okay although she lost her left eye and part of her nose but she is still Catarina. She is still just like me, just like everybody. She could go to school and finish her class.”

 

The Glovers weren’t ready to say goodbye and returned to Belize with Catarina today.

 

Dr. Rick Glover

“It’s been great; Catarina and Juan were a lot of fun to deal with. The surgery was really hard; the chemotherapy was very hard on Catarina. Being away from home was very tough on them; they spoke a lot about coming home and wanting to be home, but we just had to persevere through this. We’re gonna help get them back home and it was one of those things that I feel strongly about children to get them back home. So my wife was able to come as well. So we’ve gotten attached to them and so we have to get back and meet their family. I’ve never met her mom and dad so tomorrow we get to meet them finally.”

 

Delahnie Bain

“And you get to share in the celebration.”

 

Dr. Rick Glower

“Big celebration Sunday. So it’s gonna be great and we just got to praise god for all of this. The amount of people that came together and how this came together in such a short time and for our city and folks in Knoxville, Tennessee is not very big. So our medical community, this is not a typical case that they’ve ever done. So god put this together and it went perfectly—she never had a single problem from anything we did. So it’s just been a great thing and a big testament of God’s grace.”

 

Juan Ishim

“I just want to say thank you very much of all my brothers and sisters who helped struggle with Catarina. All the churches, all the Christians are praying for her. I am so happy and I know that everyone will be seeing through the channel how Catarina looks like; she is still Catarina; she is saved by the grace of god. I thank the doctors, the nurses here in Belize; they try very hard. I am very thankful to the doctors, the nurses in Tennessee, they tried their very best. Like I said, I will always remember them in my prayers.”

 

The entire village of San Pablo will celebrate Catarina’s return with a party on Saturday and a huge thanksgiving mass on Sunday. Delahnie Bain for News Five.

 

Hearts of Christ Children’s Ministry was key in connecting Catarina with the Glovers in Knoxville, Tennessee. 

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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5 Responses for “Catarina Ishim, the girl who survived large cancerous tumor”

  1. Storm says:

    What a great story. I cant thank the Glovers and everyone else who reached out to help our little fellow countrygirl enough. God bless you all.

  2. Hi5 says:

    God is good! Praise to the king. Thank you lord.

  3. God is Great says:

    I am so happy for this little girl, i can imagine how happy her family is right now, she was in my prayers all the time. Two years ago, i went through the same with my daughter, she had an open heart surgery and thanks to the Rotary Club of Belize and the Rotary Club of Bonita Spring in the U.S my baby is doing fine now. God is a great God, and our families are thankful for having such wonderful people with great heart who assist us in many ways.

  4. belizean says:

    God bless her little soul and a BIG thank you to Dr. and Mrs. Glover for facilitating this fine young lady, they may not be able to repay you financially but you will be rewarded with God gifts .

  5. Trust in God says:

    I am so happy for this little girl, i can imagine how happy and proud her family feels. Everything is possible with God because he is a Great God. Two years ago i went through the same thing, my daughter had an open heart surgery in the U.S, thanks to the doctors and all the wonderful people who cares, i am so thankful to them today and everyday. I wish little Catarina all the best in her life, and may God continue to bless you and your family!

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