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Aug 17, 2012

Girl with face tumor still in treatment

Remember Catarina Ishim, the little girl with the life threatening tumor? We have been following her story since March of this year before she left for Knoxville Tennessee in April to get much needed surgery through the kind assistance of the Hearts of Christ Children’s Ministry. Well, she did over twenty hours of surgery and subsequent tests to determine if the tumor was cancerous. Unfortunately, it was cancerous and since then Catarina has been doing chemotherapy. So far, Catarina’s medical costs are over two million Belize dollars. She and her grandfather, Juan Ishim, are being hosted by Dr. Rick Glover and his family in the U.S. And while she is doing well, News Five spoke with Carla Jennings of the Hearts of Christ of Children’s Ministry who says that Catarina will be in Belize sometime this year but she still needs to get further medical procedures done.


Carla Jennings, Acting President, Hearts of Christ Children’s Ministry

Carla Jennings

“I saw Catarina about five days ago. She met me at restaurant to deliver some suitcases to bring back to her family down in San Pablo and she jumped out of the car and came up and hugged my neck. She is in process of chemo still; chemo treatments but she is doing very well. She has had very little nausea, very happy. She has accepted the surgery and the removal of her nose and her eye. She has lots all of her hair but she is all smiles but just praising and thanking God, she and her grandfather, Juan. They are just waiting to see what will come and we are praying about the reconstruction because right now we are just not sure what’s gonna happen with that. She is in very good spirits.”


Andrea Polanco

“So you said there’s the possibility of the reconstruction; have you guys decided on a date when that would start?”


Carla Jennings

“No, the surgeons have spoken about it but at Catarina’s age, her facial features are gonna change a lot as she grows so they may do temporary prosthetic for the nose right now. They won’t do anything with the eye for a while but we are still contacting other people that are gonna look and maybe evaluate that also but if they do it now she will outgrow that and it won’t be correct and we are not sure if we could get it done again for all the people that have donated their services. Right now her costs have exceeded one million U.S. dollars in medical care and treatment. So we are just praying about that and her family is too.”


Andrea Polanco

“Alright, so she is doing chemo; how long will that continue for; is that over?”


Carla Jennings

“No she has twenty seven weeks. She’s had approximately eight treatments; she has one every Wednesday; every fourth Wednesday she has the big chemo treatment that she has to spend the night at the hospital every fourth Wednesday. But she is taking it very well and the chemo treatments will probably go through November.”


Andrea Polanco

“I know a lot of people are looking to see her home by the end of this year; is that still looking possible?”


Carla Jennings

“Yes, she is planning to come home sometime in November; she and her grandfather, both. We don’t know a specific date because of the length of the chemo treatments but she will be home before the end of the year but when she does come, she will still have the skin flaps on her face that covers the eye. She lost her eye, the eye socket, her complete nose, the bone everything, part of her gum because the cancer had eaten so far into her face. But when she came the states we didn’t think it was cancerous but it was and that’s why the excessive chemo treatment to prevent it from coming back somewhere else.”


Andrea Polanco

“Now, Carla has she been able to talk; is she saying anything?”


Carla Jennings

“Yes, she is perfectly normal. She talks; she is eating and gained quite a bit of weight and is outgrowing her clothing. She has a wig that she wears when she is out but she doesn’t hide from anyone and is very open about everything. She goes out to eat in restaurants; she goes out shopping and been to the movies. She is just like any normal child right now except for just the appearance of it.”


Jennings and other members of the Ministry were in Belize last month and made a trip to San Pablo, Toledo to see Catarina’s Family and brief them on the little girl’s progress. Jennings says that the family is preparing them for the effects of seeing their daughter without a real nose and one of her eyes.

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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4 Responses for “Girl with face tumor still in treatment”

  1. Storm says:

    This story is amazing and shows the goodness of humans at their best. She’s a special young lady, too. I think we all owe her good Samaritans a huge “Thank you,” for giving so much help to a little girl from our little country. I have a lot of prayers for those people and for Catarina’s recovery and future.

  2. Goodday says:

    Thanks be to God.
    Thanks to all the donors.
    This girl is truly an inspiration.
    Stories like these should make headlines.

  3. MS Smith says:

    I’ve been following this story from day one, she is an amazing kid,GOD bless her heart and all who donated to make her surgery and stay in the USA possible.There is still good people in this world, it would be a better world if more of us would give generously for a worthy cause.

  4. mg says:

    Thank God for the good people. This is a good lesson too, from which to learn carefully. This little girl was neglected by our own doctors and hence the reason why the tumor got to this point.

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