First of all, we would like to thank the community for all the love and donations you have shown and given Maria!!! Our family is really humbled.

We would like to also give everyone a little update about Maria and what has happened over the last couple of months!

So, Maria’s health has been deteriorating, we unfortunately could not continue the chemo that she was receiving here in Montreal. It was literally making her worse, so that had to be stopped.

Upon meeting with Dr. Shamy, our Montreal oncologist, she spoke to Dr. Nieto, our Houston oncologist, and he decided that he needed to get Maria to MD Anderson sooner, so our date was moved up by 3 weeks.

We left on Sunday, October 2, 2022 for MD Anderson, in Houston, Texas. The flight had very adventures, to say the least, because of Maria’s immune system being so weak and her lung masses, which cause her problems in breathing. We had to get 2 oxygen tanks for the flight to Houston, which Maria had to be hooked up to for the duration of the 4-hour flight to make sure that nothing goes wrong.

We arrived in Houston, Texas, on Tuesday. On Wednesday, Maria had many, many tests and we also met with Dr Nieto. He was very, very surprised to see how much Maria had deteriorated in 3 months, and after looking at all her test results, he said it would be best that Maria be admitted into MD Anderson as an inpatient to receive the first cycle of AFM13 drug that might potentially save her life. He wanted to do this as a precaution.

We were admitted to the hospital as inpatient services on Thursday, October 6, 2022, on the 18th floor of MD Anderson. We had amazing nurses, and Maria was made to feel comfortable even though she was not really feeling too great, she had a nasty cough, was wheezing and having difficulties breathing. By Sunday, October 9, 2022 at around 8 am, things took a turn for the worst. Maria was having difficulty breathing and her oxygen level had fallen to 70, which is quite dangerous. She was in distress. The medical floor called up ICU to come and evaluate Maria, and she was then rushed in emergency to the ICU, intubated and heavily sedated. Now, imagine as a mother, I am in a foreign place with no family here, just Maria and I, and my baby girl pleading with me with every short gasp that she had: “Mom, please don’t let me die.” I promised Maria that I would not let her down. As of October 15, 2022, we are still in the ICU. Maria is still heavily sedated to give her lungs and heart a much-needed rest, but the great news is that Dr. Nieto has still moved forward with the trial, Maria received her NK Cells (the miracle drug that can save Maria’s life) on Wednesday, October 12, 2022. We have to wait 5 to 7 days to see if this drug is working. The plan is for the trial to move forward, but Maria’s very frail state is weighing too much. Not to mention the enormous costs that are accumulating for our family being in the ICU, and having all these special tests, x-rays, scans, medication, etc. On Friday, I received a bill of $117,000 US Dollars for 5 days in the ICU. Imagine my shock and the fear in my face when I saw that. They had used the trial money, which has been in a prepaid account at MD Anderson since September, to pay for all these costs.

So unfortunately, we had to up our go fund me page, because Maria is still not out of the woods yet and the ICU costs keep piling up. It is costing approximately $25,000 US dollars a day to be in the ICU. So, we are asking for all our community’s help back home to please help our family, and please help us save Maria’s life. She is only 23 years old and does not deserve this.

We are still asking for all our communities help to please share our story with as many people as you can reach. We are far from our goal, and with all these unexpected turns of events, we just don’t know what else to do. Not to mention that we have asked our federal and provincial government for help, or any form of compassionate monetary help for the costs piling up in the ICU, or for monetary help for the trial, and they have refused to help, so we are basically stuck. I refuse to let Maria down. We need our community’ help now more than ever, so please, please donate to help save our beautiful Maria’s life!!! No amount is little!!!

From the bottom of our family’s heart and especially from Maria, we thank each and every one of you.

Elsa Moritis