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Nov 22, 2012

Ishim survives 4 pound cancerous tumor and on the way home

Catarina Ishim

Catarina Ishim; she’s the twelve year old girl from San Pablo, Toledo whose story touched many in Belize because for years she had struggled with a massive tumor on her face. Catarina was diagnosed with Leimyosarcoma, a rare and malignant type of tumor that kept recurring even after she survived two surgical procedures. But on March thirtieth, the brave young girl left her family in Belize and headed to Knoxville, Tennessee with her grandfather for a lifesaving medical procedure. After twenty hours of surgery to remove the four pound cancerous tumor; she was treated with plastic surgery, chemotherapy and months of recovery. It’s much more than most twelve year olds can endure but Catarina has been a real trooper through it all and she is now ready to return home. Her story has also been inspirational in Tennessee where she and her Grandfather were hosted by a doctor and his wife. WATE TV’s Six News, Knoxville carried the following feature on Wednesday on Catarina’s incredible recovery.


It has been eight months since a young girl from Belize arrived in Knoxville to get a football-sized, cancerous tumor removed from her face. Her recover has been remarkable and she will be going home on Friday. 6 News Reporter, Josh Ault, found out how she’s doing.


Josh Ault, Reporting

Twelve year old Catarina got to enjoy the lights at the Fantasy of Trees today.  Seeing all this is amazing to her; her village in Belize only got electricity a year ago. She came with her grandfather to have her operation.


Juan Ishim

Juan Ishim, Catarina’s Grandfather

“I’m very thankful, very happy. I couldn’t describe how much I am very happy, with all that has been done, especially with the doctors, the nurses.”


Catarina had the tumor removed at University of Tennessee Medical Center and then underwent several rounds of chemotherapy treatments at Children’s Hospital. Even though they had to remove her nose and one of her eyes, they say the tumor will not come back.


Lori Glover

Lori Glover, Host Family

“Their faith is amazing; they’ve gone through trials and things that not many people can handle.”


Lori Glover and her husband Rick hosted Catarina and her grandfather while they were in Knoxville. For the past ten years, they have been helping to bring children from Belize to the United States.

Lori Glover

“She never complained, she did marvelous through everything.”


Catarina won’t be required to have anymore medical follow-ups here in the United States. The Glovers just hope that her experience here will teach her that she can accomplish anything in her life. These photos show prosthetic noses that have been created for Catarina. She’ll be able to wear them when she goes home.  In Knoxville, Josh Ault, 6 News.


The Glovers will be traveling with Catarina and her grandfather on Friday; they will spend a week with them. The entire country of Belize has been following Catarina and they are planning a big celebration when she returns to her village.


Catarina’s trip to Tennessee as well as her surgery and follow up treatments were made possible with the help of Heart of Christ Mission and School Bells Incorporated.  News Five will meet Catarina when she steps off the plane.

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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1 Response for “Ishim survives 4 pound cancerous tumor and on the way home”

  1. Storm says:

    What a wonderful result for this little girl. I pray for her physical and emotional recovery, and that she can live out a happy, normal life.

    And I profoundly thank, and will remember in my prayers, all the generous strangers, American and Belizean, who made this miracle happen. Without their loving hearts, this would have been a quiet tragedy in a tiny, poor corner of the world.

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