At the window, right at the back in the class room of 9 E2, giggling. The teacher distributed a worksheet that the girls are now stuck in the heads. “What’s the point? What do you mean? What must be in there?” Johanna and Emily, which they call Emmy, Mirhan and Münire whisper, whispering and laughing. Also Marisol whispers. It is actually not here. She is in the hospital. Or home. So exactly don’t know your Girlfriends often. For Marisols Deputy is here, your Avatar. The small, white robot in the middle of high up on Johanna’s and Emmy’s Desk: 27 inches, a pounds, with the head and body. The camera on his forehead looks for Marisol, the microphone listens for you. Over the Internet, he transmits everything on your iPad, teaching in the live stream. Marisol wants to say something, to whisper or shout, sound of their voice from the speaker of the avatar. As long as Marisol is sick, helps the robot to be, in spite of everything – and perhaps heal faster.

“You need to have the class repeat”

on Monday morning, shortly before nine, on the Campus of the Virchow-Klinikum of the Charité in Berlin-Wedding. A crutch supported Marisol, 14 rises, the day hospital is high. Outside, the air is cool and fresh, on her black wig, she pulled a wool cap. When you go in, Marisol begins to breathe through the mouth. You do not want to have that hospital smell in the nose. You will no longer put up with him.

On the long course two clinic-Clowns waiting with red noses. You should bring the kids here to Laugh, despite the cancer, despite the often harsh treatment. Also, Marisol has cancer – and just a Block through chemotherapy. You must have a rest in the home now, but needs to come again and again in the Charité hospital to check your blood levels. On a blackboard Adrian at 8.30 am, Tamy around 8.40 PM, Marisol, who’s turn it is: around 8.55 PM. In the treatment room, 23 she sits on a couch and pulls her iPad out of the bag.


class room: In the hospital, Marisol’s waiting on the nurse and looks at the lessons

©Thomas Victor

last August, a few days before the end of the summer holidays, has finished the cancer Marisols normal life all of a sudden. For months she had had pain in the knee when you Jump, while Running, then you could not even act properly. Maybe bursitis, said the house doctor. Maybe a ligament tear, said the orthopedist. The MRI showed It was a Tumor, called osteosarcoma, bone cancer. Marisol has the Diagnostic screen on your Smartphone.

she had to immediately in the Charité, the therapy plan was soon fixed: First, a couple of blocks of chemotherapy to get the cancer cells down rings, then would the Doctors of your knee with an artificial substitute, then should more blocks of Chemo to follow. Estimated duration of therapy: at least nine months. The doctor was trying, in his patient nothing to deny that: “The school can do you in any case. You, the class will have to repeat,” he said. “For me, the more shocking was the diagnosis of cancer,” says Marisol. She wanted to stay in the class. In the case of your Girlfriends. Absolutely. Only, how would that go?

In German schools are diagnosed each year, thousands of children are so difficult, that you can go for a longer time as usual to the lessons. Some suffer from depression, some eating disorders, some cancer. If there is any, helps the state and sends a teacher in the clinics. In the school year 2017/18 11 336 students received nationwide teaching in classes or schools for the Sick. Also, Marisol is supported: it Is in-between the chemotherapy blocks at home, a house teacher.

915 euros per year

The lack of school life, no one can replace yet. Due to illness and therapy, the children are already in an extreme situation – in addition, you run the risk of becoming disconnected, from the lessons, but especially from their Girlfriends and friends. So Johanna and Emmy visited her friend Marisol at the beginning of almost every day. But then the chemotherapy unfolded their effect and their side effects. Marisol was always evil, she was weak. Not even for their Friends, she had enough strength.

It was Dorothée Weigel, a psychologist at the Charité, the Marisol showed unexpectedly a bridge to their lost life. The clinic is currently testing a robot by the Norwegian company “No Isolation”. These avatars, AV1 called, is meant to enable sick children to be able to be without having to be on site. “We wanted to find a simple way to bring these children out of their hospital rooms in the real world,” says co-founder Karen Dolva, 28. The robot is so handy and so easy that even children can take it with you everywhere, not only in school, in their leisure time. Worldwide, about 850 units are in use, most of them in Scandinavia, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. In Norway, health insurance companies bear some of the cost.

Marisol got your Avatar after your knee surgery, the beginning of the year. It motivated that it was the device. That was a Chance! “She has started to take an interest in teaching,” says Reiko Clement, her father.


Full as: Marisols Avatar in the middle, on the Desk of her Friends – in the group work, the Nonsense

©Thomas Victor

In the treatment room 23 Marisol puts the iPad on the lap and hooks in a live broadcast from room D 1.06 in the Schiller-gymnasium at the Ernst-Reuter-Platz, about five kilometres away. In English today we are talking about auxiliary verbs. Can and could, may and ought to. What Bernd Heskel, the teacher, with chalk on the blackboard, looks Marisol well. “Marisol, we will send you the worksheet?”, asks Johanna. “Yes, please.” With your Smartphone, which may use, exceptionally, makes Johanna a photo and send it to Marisol via Whatsapp. Bling. Task one is: “Put in the correct verb to express ability.” Marisol brings a Block out of your pocket and makes notes. “If you write something down, write I,” she says. “If they read something that I read. And if the house have tasks, then I do too.”

At the Charité, the psychologist Weigel coordinates the use of the robot. In a closet in the corridor of the children’s cancer station, right opposite your office, keep the avatars. 3690, – Euro gross, including three months license, with phone service and all the trimmings is a thing, then 915 euros so gross per year. In Germany, the use generally will be paid by any insurance company, even if the technician health insurance in the state of Schleswig-Holstein in support of a pilot project, Motto: “in the Middle.” Cult which claimed the divinelb financed the Berlin avatars on donations. Six children has equipped Weigel already.

What is announced in the school?

“The Avatar makes for the children a big difference,” she says. “Normally, the worry is: How could I tell my classmates of the disease? How do I present myself? The Avatar solves these problems. He is just in the middle of the classroom, and thus also of the child. Not the disease is in the foreground, but the teaching. This creates normality.”

the Other children will give your Avatar name. Marisol does not. She is so at one with your Avatar, that she speaks of when she says it. She says: “When me and my classmates put on the table …” Or: “If the others take me in the break …” the robot says Weigel, get the sick child, almost casually, what clothes is fashionable, what words, Songs, and Stars are just in, or the friendships which break. In some children the friends of the Avatar in the afternoon, in the Park, playing sports. “I-am-out-feeling so low,” says Weigel. At the same time, sick children could dispense what you give of yourself: The Avatar has no screen. No one sees, where the child is and in what condition.


Full of it: From home, Marisol followed the music lesson

©Thomas Victor

English is over. “We have a break now, Marisol”, the voice from the iPad. “Can you take me later to the third floor?”, she asks. “Yeah, sure.” At the door of room 23, there is a knock. Nicole, the nurse, is there, to remove Blood. Ten minutes later the result comes. Leukocytes, Hemoglobin, Platelets, Neutrophilic Granulocytes. It’s okay, at least so well that Marisol needs this time no blood transfusion. Marisol grabs her crutch and walks to the exit. No sooner is she out, is she breathing again through the nose.

the Taxi going home, in an old building apartment in Berlin-Moabit. Marisol creates the stairs to the fourth floor alone. After a short Pause, she sits down at the small Desk in the living room and on the iPad. On the table there is also a calendar. There, Marisol day-to-day wearing, what you experienced. Monday: “day hospital (blood transfusion)”, Tuesday: “home”, Wednesday: “physiotherapy”, and: “the visit of Johanna”.

“Hello, Marisol.” Johanna reports about the Avatar. The teaching goes on. Geography with Mrs. bacon. Topic: global warming, climate change. In the room next door Marisols mother gives piano lessons, her father is a composer – Marisol, it is usual that here the entire day playing music. You can focus on geography. And it does not bother you that the iPad image is not jerky once in a while, because the line is at home quite so quickly. Marisol sees how the teacher throws up a graphic on the digital panel. Mrs bacon turned to the Avatar and speaks to Marisol directly: “How nice that you’re here today,” she says, “we are very happy, when you’re soon back here with us.”

“visit of the old lady,”

The next morning, at half past twelve is a break at the Schiller-Gymnasium. Johanna and Emily wear the Avatar on the Playground, Marisol is always necessary. Four, five voluntary carers to alternately fit on your robot, take it home, charge it.

With your high school, Marisol has already luck, because there happen to another student is already an Avatar used. So there was first experience. At the very beginning, it took a little bit, until the teachers and parents were with the robot, familiar, says Gerold Hofmann, the head of school. Of course everyone would want to care for sick children. But there have also been reservations: What is your privacy policy? What if the Avatar in the classroom to record something and then a Video of a Whatsapp-Chat again? “The Avatar was like a black box.” Some teachers also asked, what can cause, when machines move once in the classroom: Replace student? Replace teachers? There are in the class, only avatars rooms soon?


Marisol with her brother, Malik, 12, and their parents

©Thomas Victor

The manufacturer company and also Dorothee Weigel were able to dispel the biggest Concerns. AV1 about allowed to record anything, but only transferred. The child makes a still image, turns off the Avatar automatically. “The concrete experiences were positive,” says headmaster Hofmann, “also, because the Avatar has brought in everyday life, no additional costs. And this is almost the best part of this project: the classmates are, for the sick child the responsibility that your sick classmate to integrate.”

At the Desk of the 9 E2 Joseph Hannon, the class teacher, subject: English, subject: dürrenmatt, “the visit of the old lady is now”. All of them have the book in front of you, Mr Hannon distributed a sheet with tasks for group work. Johanna and Emily turn Marisols Avatar as, of course, and set it between them. You giggle. And Marisol with discussed quietly. You still do not dare to register before all of the word.

16 blocks of chemotherapy to combat cancer

But perhaps that will change soon. The school Marisol brought good news: In the summer, after the holidays, may you, in any case, to the sample in the tenth grade. You must stay in the class. “Since then, you know,” says Marisols father, “completely out of the house. And highly motivated.”

16 blocks chemotherapy has Marisol behind. Two were in store for her yet. In the meantime, everything should be done. Then you can go before the summer holidays even for a couple of weeks in the school, personally. And your Avatar self to take home. To him to pass on to another child.


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