At 17, Isenia, a native of Semey, Kazakhstan, noticed a lump on her leg the size of a small apple. Initially, Isenia and her family thought it to be a dancing-related injury. However, as months passed, the lump showed no signs of change, so Isenia decided to seek medical attention and was soon diagnosed with alveolar sarcoma – a rare type of soft tissue sarcoma.
The diagnosis worried Isenia’s mother, who explained that while Kazakhstan has good oncology clinics and good doctors, the country lacks a dedicated pediatric oncology clinic. Soon after Isenia was diagnosed, doctors informed the family that her condition had rarely been treated in Kazakhstan, suggesting they consider seeking treatment abroad.
While still in Kazakhstan, Isenia underwent three cycles of chemotherapy as the family looked for alternative treatment options. “I was looking for reviews from real people,” explains Isenia’s mother. “After considering all factors, we decided to go to Israel. Choosing Sheba was no accident, as we knew it had been ranked among the top 10 hospitals in the world for several years now.”
In the days preceding their arrival, Isenia’s mother recalls being told by Sheba staff that “there will be no language barrier, and no translation problems; we would not feel like strangers there. It was hard to believe, but it was so. If we needed any help, all we had to do was call.”
Upon arrival at Sheba, Isenia started treatment following several tests. According to Isenia and her mother, the process was pleasant and straightforward. Isenia expresses particular gratitude to Milana and Rima, her medical coordinators, for their assistance with translation and documents, as well as to Pavel, who came to meet them at the airport and arranged preliminary assessments for doctors to evaluate her condition. “We felt like we were not alone here, which gave us peace of mind.”
At Sheba, doctors confirmed Isenia’s diagnosis, and she began the treatment process. As of today, she continues to be treated by her dedicated doctors.