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Prinses Máxima Centrum

A well-known Máxima duo speaks: Jelle (15) and his father

In Radio 538's report, Jelle tells his story. We found out, many at the Máxima Center know him, as well as his father, all too well. 'They are a fantastic duo,' says physician assistant Simone Walraven. 'They make a little party of it and are always optimistic.' Jelle and Henry are telling:
Henry: ‘Thankfully we are home now. That’s been a long time. Jelle, my wife and I were walking in IKEA this morning when I said to my wife: 'It's really been a long time since we've done anything together. Wednesday was normally my day off, but the last few months we were at the Máxima Center for chemo.'

Jelle: 'Sometimes we were home for a few days. But after a chemo check, my blood levels are often so low that I end up in the hospital.'

Henry: 'There is about three months between the first and second tumor. So we often talk about the 'first' and 'second' trajectories. This trajectory is very different. First, he only got chemo on Wednesdays, now five days in a row. After that, he rest for three weeks. If he doesn't get a fever...'

Jelle: 'Haha, that hasn't happened so far! But I have more time to recover. Two weeks where you feel good, that feels quite good to me. This is the first week I'm not in the hospital after chemo's.'

Henry: ‘Because I have Wednesdays off, it's easy for me to plan. My wife takes care of our other two daughters at home: Mette (14) and Ise (9). Luckily my boss is very easy. If your child needs you, you just have to be there, he says. Jelle and I do everything together, with a bit of humor.'

Jelle: ‘We are very down-to-earth. A joke now and then, and messing around with the sisters.'

Henry: 'The other day we had to stay for a week and we knew that the doctor's assistant, Simone Walraven, had a birthday. Then in the evening we arranged birthday decorations and decorated everything.'

Jelle: 'During the day I go to school and dad sports.'

Henry: 'For me, those are two hours where I can do something for myself. I've discovered the sports hall, down by the fysiotherapy.'

Jelle: 'Or he goes to lunch. Or dinner. He always looks forward to that... And we also often watch Opal Hunters on Discovery in the morning. It’s about people looking looking for diamonds or gems. Everyone thinks they're going to be rich, but in the end they have nothing at all.'

Henry: 'Or we go to the teen lounge.'

Jelle: 'Yes, then you want to play FIFA. But the chemo has affected the motor skills in my fingers. So then he always wins. Not entirely fair.'

Henry: 'Haha, true. Humor and down-to-earthness makes it easier for the people around you. Like that time we went swimming, remember?'

Jelle: 'Oh yeah, then we came out of the water, and everyone gets under one of those hair dryers. So did I. But of course I was bald! And all the people looked at me like 'Huh? Wow! Haha.'