of the month

By Rich Petersen

María Isabel Tolentino Peralta


child-jan2012This bright-eyed little girl is three and a half-year-old María Isabel Tolentino Peralta. María Isabel lives in San Juan Cosalá with her parents and three siblings, one sister and two brothers. She is the youngest of the four children. Mom, María Guadalupe, is a housewife and Dad, Eladio, works at the big Abastos Market in Guadalajara loading trucks and delivering produce around the city.

About one year ago, María Isabel’s mother noticed that the child was having trouble keeping her balance when walking and had to hold onto objects in the room in order not to fall. This balance problem followed on the heels of a fever of two weeks’ duration, even though the fever was then back to normal.  Subsequently, the child suffered six days of vomiting, also finally brought under control, but the imbalance problem continued.

When seen by neurologists at the Hospital Civil in Guadalajara, the symptoms were recognized as possibly being the result of a tumor in the brain, so an MRI was performed which unfortunately did show a tumor in the posterior cranial fossa. (Fossae are large depressions we have in our cranial cavity that house very important aspects of the brain, e.g., the cerebellum, the pons and the medulla.) A biopsy of the tumor was performed and it was found to be malignant.

A drainage valve was then placed in her skull to release fluid pressure, and María Isabel was begun on chemotherapy.  She goes to the hospital one week each month for her chemo. Four more months of therapy are being advised by the doctors, at the end of which another MRI will be performed.  If the tumor has disappeared she will of course be off of chemotherapy.  If the tumor has shrunk in size, then the doctors will operate to remove what remains.  If there has been no change in the size of the tumor, the chemotherapy will be continued another four months.

Niños Incapacitados has been assisting the family with the cost of transportation to and from the hospital as well as any tests not covered by the family’s Seguro Popular.  This is a type of family insurance instituted in the country a few years’ ago, but which does not always have the funding to pay for all types of tests and medications. We are of course hoping for the best and that at the end of the next four months the tumor will have disappeared.

I wish you could meet this little girl in person. For being so young and having such a difficult diagnosis, María Isabel is as alert and talkative as you would expect any three-year-old to be.  Her grasp of words is amazing, and she will answer you right back when you ask a question. She still has difficulty walking without assistance, but there is no doubt that her cognitive faculties are not impaired. She loved being brought to our meeting in a “big red car” and charmed all of us with her smile and bright eyes. If you would like to meet other children being helped by Niños Incapacitados, please attend our regular monthly meetings on the second Thursday of each month in one of the meeting rooms at the Hotel Real de Chapala in La Floresta. Coffee and cookies at 10:00, meeting at 10:30. Bring a friend.  You will learn how you can volunteer in many different ways and how your monetary support helps so much to assist needy families whose children suffer from a chronic and/or debilitating illness or condition.

Thank you again to all of you who are part of our “Sustaining Niños” pledge program. As with any charity here at Lakeside, we couldn’t do what we do without your support. HAPPY NEW YEAR!


Pin It
Child of the MonthBy Nicole Sergent   May 2018 Izel April 2018 Maria Guadalupe A.T. March 2018 Meet The Children January
The Dark Side Of The Dream By Alejandro Grattan-Dominguez, Arte Publico Press 434 pages $11.95 US Reviewed by ROB MOHR (Initially published in The
CHILD of the month By Rich Petersen José de Jesús Beltrán Velazco   This handsome 15-year old is José de Jesús Beltrán Velazco. “Chuy”
CHILD of the month By Rich Petersen Juan Antonio Galaviz Vaca   Bright and smiling, this is two-year old Juan Antonio Galaviz Vaca who lives in
CHILD of the month By Rich Petersen Ulises Saúl Guerrero Velázquez   What a great name, eh? This is “almost” 9-year old Ulises Saúl Guerrero
Wordwise With Pithy Wit By Tom Clarkson   This morning, my pal F.T. – who shared the Iraq experience with me during my third trek there – forwarded
  VICTORIA SCHMIDT   Column: Editor’s Page   Website:   Victoria Schmidt came to Mexico with her husband, in 2007. 
    MOONYEEN PATRICIA KING   Column: Profiling Tepehua   Website:   Settled in Mexico 13 years ago.  The
  ALEJANDRO GRATTAN-DOMINGUEZ   Column: Editor’s Page   Website:   Wrote/directed first movie about Mexican-Americans, Only
  KEN MASSON   Column: Bridge by the Lake   Website:   Ken Masson has been playing, teaching and writing about bridge
 Find us on Facebook