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4-year-old Vega is incurabably sick of cancer - her grandma and grandpa find comfort in Team Rynkeby
Helle and Uffe Haack's granddaughter is terminally ill with cancer. Right now they are on their way around Denmark to help ensure that no children die of cancer in the future.
Day 3, Hou: ‘Chemo & Love’ is written on the chest of Team Rynkeby Vestsjælland’s yellow cycling jerseys. The words, followed by the name ‘Vega’ and a heart, are a tribute to the two Team Rynkeby participants Helle and Uffe Haack's four-year-old granddaughter, who is terminally ill with cancer.
‘Chemo & Love’ is also the name of the Instagram account that Vegas parents, Louise Haack and Christoffer Sandager, have created, and where they openly tell about their daughter's cancer process.
The words are thus also an important reminder of why Team Rynkeby is cycling through Denmark this week to raise money for the Childhood Cancer Foundation.
Picture of Vega from Kemo & Kærlighed on Instagram...
It's almost a year and a half ago - shortly after Vegas' three-year birthday - that she fell ill.
At first the doctors believed it was constipation, but after 14 days without recovery she was scanned and here the doctors discovered some very bad news.
The family received the terrible news that their daughter had suffered from an extremely rare and extremely aggressive form of cancer. The disease affects only six to seven Danish children a year and is difficult to cure. At the time, there was still hope that Vega could recover with intensive treatment.
- The doctors said, however, that they should preferably hit home with the first treatment, otherwise it would be difficult, says Helle Haack, who is part of the service team at Team Rynkeby Vestsjælland, while her husband - Vegas grandfather - is a rider.
By the end of February 2021, 11 months after Vega was diagnosed with cancer, however, it was clear to doctors that there was nothing to cure Vega’s disease.
Four-year-old Vega was declared terminal. This means that all treatment from there can only be life-prolonging and not curative.
- The only thing the doctors can do is give her life-prolonging and pain-relieving treatment. The cancer is located around some large blood vessels in her stomach, so it cannot be removed by surgery, says Helle.
Community is important
The grandparents are strongly affected by the granddaughter's illness, and it was not until Thursday, the day before the team's departure in Høng, that they finally decided to take the trip.
Article continues below picture of Helle...
- We visited Louise and Christoffer on Wednesday, where we talked about it. It was they who encouraged us to do so. We have trained towards this, and then it is also nice to think that we can thereby help to make a difference, says Helle, who despite the unfortunate circumstances is also happy to be part of Team Rynkeby field.
- We get a breathing space, if you can put it that way, she says, and Uffe adds:
- We come out and meet some other people and get the opportunity to think about something a little different. But we also need to be at home. It's hard, too, he says.
Helle taps her phone lying on the table in front of her.
- But they are on the phone all the time, she smiles.
Make a difference
In addition to the community of Team Rynkeby, the family has also received a lot of help and comfort from near and far.
Among other things, a couple of close friends of Louise and Christoffer have started a fundraiser so the family can have the best memories with Vega in the time that remains.
In just one day, more than DKK 200,000 was raised.
- It has given them some freedom to have some experiences as a family without having to speculate on their finances. It is good for them, says Uffe.
And it is precisely the wish to do something good for other families who are in the same situation that motivates the grandparents this week.
- We simply want to work for enough money in the coffers at the Childhood Cancer Foundation, so that more research can be done, says Helle.
If you want to make a contribution to Team Rynkeby Vestsjællands fundraising for children with critical illnesses, you can support Uffe's fundraising on My Collection here.