The right leg of Diana Ferizi (6) hurt. Diagnostics concluded it was caused by leukaemia. In 2014, the girl was admitted to the paediatric oncology unit of the University Clinical Centre in Pristina, where she received chemotherapy.
During the entire time - day and night - her mother Valbona stayed at her side, in the same room. The family with two other daughters and a son live in another city in Kosovo. It takes hours to travel from there to Pristina by public transport.
A year has already passed since Diana last had chemotherapy, yet she still she has to come in every fortnight for a check-up. How long these check-ups will continue, is still unknown. Valbona says her daughter dreads having to go to the hospital every time. On these days, the girl is nervous, stressed and easily aggravated.
Valbona herself gets worried before every check-up. 'I'm always afraid something else that's serious is uncovered during one of these examinations.'
With tears in her eyes, her mother says: 'My husband and I didn't dare to dream our little girl would recover from this illness. We are so grateful that she could be treated here thanks to Care for Kosovo Kids, because we wouldn't have been able to afford the chemotherapy.'
Meanwhile, Diana proudly shows off her long hair. 'Before the chemotherapy it reached down to my buttocks. Afterwards I was completely bald for a while, but luckily it grows back fast. It is almost as long as it used to be.'