Little fighters stories:
Please feel free to read all the stories of our little fighters. PLEASE NOTE: Not all the photographs in our Little Fighters Albums are nice to look at. Some of the photographs depict the horrid realities of Childhood Cancer. Sensitive viewers should be mindful.
This is a very special story:
"Our baby angel Michael falls right into the Little Fighter's zone as he was an amazing warrior that won over so many hearts!! If he can create awareness via his story, I will shout it from the rooftops."
Charmaine Du Preez (Michael's mom)
Kenzo is 14 months old.
He was born on the 15th of May 2015, and diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia on February 4th, 2016.
Kenzo lives with his Mommy Shanlynn, Daddy Darryl and big brother (5 years old) Qian in Cape Town.
For more about ALL (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia) which is what Kenzo is Fighting, please feel free to read here:
Ethan Keesch is 9 years old.
Ethan was diagnosed with Osteomylitis in October 2015, and is wheelchair bound and a paraplegic. Him, his older sister and younger brother, is being cared for by their Grandmother, and this little Family lives in the Malmesbury area.
Please meet Janlu Dreyer who is 7 years old and lives in Malmesbury with his mommy Cholette, daddy Henk and brother Waldo and Big sister Chandre, who goes to school in Strand.
He must have some Italian in his genes, as his two favourite foods are pasta and pizza! His main man is Iron Man, he adores the colour red and....wait for it, he is a Ferrari fan! Add Vin Diesel as his top actor, and you will see, this is a young man with some seriously good taste!
Janlu was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma in 2015 and is still in active treatment. His mommy had to resign from her job, as he needs constant care.
We would like to introduce a new Little Fighter to you.
This handsome young man is Jason Morris. He lives in Durban with his mommy Dawn, daddy Justice, younger brother and older sister.
He is a 9 years old, he loves KFC, lasagne and pizza. His favourite Superhero is none other than Spiderman! He has some seriously good taste in movies, and his favourite is Blade the Vampire Slayer. When he kicks back, he loves playing video games and spending time with his brother....no doubt, in mischief!
Jason was diagnosed with Medullablastoma, a form of brain cancer, in July of 2013. He had major brain surgery, followed by both radio therapy as well as chemo. The tumour grew back, and more surgery was performed, with more treatment following. He had a stunt inserted into his head and endured many tests, scans, treatment sessions and has been Fighting like the true Champ he is.
In December 2015, mommy noticed that he had trouble walking, and it was discovered that the tumour has grown back, bigger and more aggressive than before.
A few days ago, Jason was determined as terminally ill and discharged from hospital with no further treatment options.
We welcome Jason and his Family to OUR Family.
Caleb van der Westhuizen
This is Caleb van der Westhuizen.
Caleb is four years old, and him, mommy Anneva and daddy Warren, lives in Paarl. Caleb is an only child.
Caleb was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma in Stage 4, on Wednesday the 9th of September. He is currently in hospital.
Due to the Neuroblastoma being so far developed and spread already, his mommy and daddy have been given various treatment options, and they have until the end of this weekend to make a decision which route they want to go.
Two of the options include, continuing on the oral chemo he is currently on, which will extend his life with a year to fifteen months, or, to opt for six months of intensive treatment, which will possibly include surgery and radiation, IF his body is strong enough to handle this treatment.
This is not an easy decision to make, and we ask that you keep Caleb and his parents in your hearts and prayer please.
They are still adjusting to the shock of the diagnosis and prognosis, highly emotional and very confused. They can use all the support and love they can get right now.
Tristin van Greunen
Tristin was diagnosed in February 2014 with ALL (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia). His date of birth 14 Dec 2005.
He is still going for regular lumbar punches and chemo. He is the only child.
11 March 2014 Jordan's Brave Journey began. And what a journey it has been... and still is. Jordan was diagnosed with Beukitts Leukemia.
Jordan grew up on a farm near Zeerust. When he was diagnosed with cancer in March 2014, his mommy Yolandi moved to Pretoria for his intensive treatment.
Yolandi has done and is still doing SO much for childhood cancer awareness. She has also, on own initiative, organised a couple of projects for the brave little soldiers and their families at Unitas Paediatric Oncology to take their minds off the big battle at hand, even just for a few minutes. For all her time, effort and financial expenses, including the current music video for Little Fighters Cancer Trust, she hasn’t received, nor expect ANY compensation. She’s selflessly doing all this to help create awareness as you could be the next Onco Family...
Our hero (Jordan) played the role of Lex Luther. http://bananatunes.com/…/jaryd-rusty-smiths-gift-to-childr…/
Yolandi (Jordan's mommy) was the force behind it all... writing the script, sourcing the crew, dealt with all the legalities, and of course organised all the "actors".
She will do all the editing as well. From her side, she would like to thank Kobus Schoeman for all the professional help she got from him.
Timothy was diagnosed with Juvenile Myelo Monocytic Leukemia at 10 weeks old. He was diagnosed in the Red Cross Children’s Hospital in the Oncology ward. The doctor told me at the time it is the rarest form of leukemia that one can get, they only receive a case every 2years, one in a million.
Timothy was diagnosed with Juvenile Myelo Monocytic Leukemia at 10 weeks old. He was diagnosed in the Red Cross Children's Hospital in the Oncology ward. The doctor told me at the time it is the rarest form of leukemia that one can get, they only receive a case every 2years, one in a million.
This type of leukemia arises in infants and if diagnosed in time it an early diagnosis as I Tim’s case. The first indicators are low platelet count and increased white blood cells, spleen and liver are enlarged too. The statistics of JMML: if untreated will not survive 1 year, if treated but with no transplant may survive to 2years. A transplant has been found at this stage to be the only cure as chemotherapy and radiotherapy on its own does not help. A full diagnosis can be made with a bone marrow biopsy.
In order to receive a bone marrow transplant certain criteria have to be met, Tim first had to weigh a minimum of 9kgs, his platelets had to stabilize and his white blood cells also had to be in control. He was put onto medication everyday to try and keep the cancer cells at bay.
When Tim was 4 months old we discovered a lump under his right arm which grew at a rapid rate and was the size of a golf ball within a month. Tim was booked for surgery to remove the lump and to have tests done. It was found that it had grown right around the nerves leading to his right arm. They could not remove it but they did take a sample to do tests on. It was found to be TB. When an infant all babies receive a BCG inoculation for TB. Because his immune system was compromised he did not absorb it like he was supposed to, instead it settled and grew a lump. This then meant that Tim was to go on TB treatment. The medication he received was not available in syrup form and only in extremely bitter tablets that we had to crush. Most of the time he threw the medication up and it strained everything! This wound took 4 months to heal.
The day Tim had the lump cut into; he was placed onto the South African Bone Marrow Registry. The following day we had 2 hits!!! This amazed everybody as we all know that statistics show 1 in every 100 000 get a match.
We found out what doctor meant when she said that he would get sick and would loose him if he didn't get treatment. He ended up having to go into hospital regularly to get blood and platelet transfusions. During the months from August to November we were going into hospital for 2–3 days at a time and them home for another 2–3 days and back in again. Eventually the oncologist said we should start Tim on a heavy steroid dose and start weaning him of when the platelet start building themselves up, therefore having to prevent and transfusions. This started working slowly and by December we seemed to have a little more control.
Tim was ready for his transplant in January this year. He was healthy, met his target weight and all bloods were in control. His transplant was scheduled for 8 April, 8 days before his 1st birthday. In preparation for his transplant Tim had a Hickman line put into his chest which leads to the artery in his neck and then down to his heart. This would make drawing blood and administering medication mush easier. We went to the Groote Schuur hospital to start his chemotherapy and we realized that his Hickman line has pulled out, so all the chemo he had been given was pouring out the entrance wound rather than going into his system. He was then transferred back to the Red Cross to remove that one and put in a new one on the other side of his chest.
He received 1 week of chemotherapy to kill the immune system, this will help prevent the body from rejecting the stem cells he would be receiving. He received the stem cells, which take 20 minutes and goes in like a platelet transfusion under strict monitoring.
He celebrated his 1st birthday on 16 April, where all the staff came in and sang for him.
The following 2 weeks is when the side-effects from the chemo kicked in and we went through over R3000 in nappies and had a severe nappy rash that didn't heal quickly because of the white blood cells hat were still almost on zero.
On the 3rd May he was transferred out of the transplant unit at the Groote Schuur and sent to the Red Cross Oncology unit. After having a colonoscopy done we found that he had stage 2 Graft vs Host disease. This is where the dono’'s stem cells are rejecting the host – Tim. This was controlled.
He was put on immune suppressant drugs in order for him not to reject the donor’s stem cells. This has made Tim incredibly hairy as he had to have a high dose because the TB medication he was still on was canceling it out. The high dose steroids also made Tim swell, so now he looked like a typical picture of the cancer child.
During all of this Tim remained a happy child and I was heavily pregnant with Robin at the time. Robin arrived on 22 May whilst Tim was in hospital. I had to leave Robin with Henk so I could continue to care for Tim. Timothy was discharged from hospital on 17 June! We were a full family, all 4 of us together.
On 22 June, Timothy spiked a temp of 38.5C, we rushed him to Red Cross again. After blood cultures were done we found that his Hickman line got e–coli bacteria. His immune system was still suppressed at this stage, by the time we got half way through his treatment on this he had developed Pneumonia and his lungs had started bleeding.
Timothy was fully ventilated. We were advised that he was critical and we were looking at an hour to hour basis. After all he had been through! He remained ventilated for 2 weeks in the ICU, but we were also finding that he continually contracting bugs there. All the medication to keep him alive and the immune suppressant drugs etc had started making his kidneys fail. We were told that if his kidneys don't start working in 2 days we were going to have to start dialysis. Worst case scenario a Kidney transplant!!
Tim pulled through and was sent back to what we now call our room in the oncology ward, the Isolation cubicle. He remained on a cannula where there is oxygen blown into the nostril for another week and a half. Tim was discharged from Red Cross on 24 July. He still has to get blood and platelet transfusions. Because his platelets are low he can bleed from anywhere, his mouth, his stomach, a cut\graze, even his intestines, brain lining and lungs.
When we did his most recent bone marrow biopsy to see if the transplant had worked, we had not received the result we were hoping for. The results were inconclusive. With all Tim's symptoms and how slowly his platelets are building up, doctor told us that she thinks the cancer has come back. They have spoken to the transplant doctor and another doctor in the UK and they all seem to agree that it has returned.
Timothy’s body is too weak to go through another transplant right now. We don’t know how long we have with him, it may be months and it may be years. Doctors did advise that if it is the worst, the cancer having come back, that if he is healthy enough in 2–3 years time we can consider doing another transplant.
We all have our heroes, but I never thought that my child would be mine!
Dilon Neethling , is ’n 8 jarige seuntjie in ons skool, Laerskool Gimnasium Paarl. Hy het saterdag tydens sy rugby wedstryd, inmekaar gesak. Nadat sy ouers met hom hospitaal toe is en bloedtoetse gedoen is , is leukemia gediagnoseer.
Sy witbloedsel telling was 2 ipv 18. Hy is tans in Tygerberg hospitaal opgeneem en hulle gaan vandag beenmurg trek om toetse te doen maar dit lyk blykbaar nie goed nie. Bo en behalwe vir die feit dat ons bid vir `n wonderwerk van genesing, bid ons ook vir genoeg personeel wat in die pediatriese saal kan help. Dra hom en sy familie asb in julle gebede op. Sy pa is ook tans besig om teen kanker te baklei.
Stuur vir julle email buddies aan asb!
Ons weet hoe groot God se genade is en ons loof en prys Hom daarvoor!
Zane Koch is a 2 year old bubble of joy. She was admitted to Red Cross Children’s Hospital on August 16th 2011 with a huge tumor in her brain. Four days later they removed the tumor during a ten hour long operation. Although Zane was given very little hope of surviving the operation, she surprised everyone by sitting up, greeting her mommy and daddy and asking for tea!
She was allowed to go home for the weekend after her operation and on the Sunday night her parents had to rush her back to Red Cross due to excessive swelling on her brain.
On Tuesday, August 29th, 2011, Zane was diagnosed with Fibrous Menengioma. Meningiomas are often considered benign tumors curable by surgery, but most recurrent meningiomas correspond to histologic benign tumors. The metabolic phenotype of these benign recurrent meningiomas indicated an aggressive metabolism resembling that observed for atypical meningioma. They are usually dome-shaped, with the base lying on the dura. They are most frequently attached to the dura over the superior parasagittal surface.The most frequent genetic mutations involved in meningiomas are inactivation mutations in the neurofibromatosis 2 gene (merlin) on chromosome 22q. They have a tendency to calcify and are highly vascularized.
Zane will receive high doses of Chemotherapy as soon as the swelling reduces and is currently in High Care with 24 hour Oxygen and intravenous support.
Daniella Booysens is 9 years old and has Hodgkins Lymphoma. We will update her story as soon as we receive it from her parents. Here she is with some presents which the Little Fighters Cancer Trust took her earlier this year. The Little Fighters Cancer Trust has also recently taken her clothing for winter.
Reef Carneson was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia at the age of 5 months. We thank God daily for the miracle that is Reef as well as for all his caregivers, doctors and the public who unfailingly have donated platelets to keep this brave little boy alive.
Reef Carneson was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia at the age of 5 months – this at a routine pediatric check up. He was sent by ambulance from the doctors rooms to Donald Gordon Medical Centre. We were met by a lady oncologist who did not mince her words and we were told the horrible news. She further stated that his chances were not good as he had an extremely high white cell count (200,000) and further was under the age of 6 months – all of which were against his chances of survival.
A month into the Chemotherapy treatment Reef went into renal failure and had to be rushed to Morningside I.C.U. and put on dialysis which he survived He then returned to D.G.M.C. and continued with an extremely aggressive protocol of chemotherapy.
Approximately 3 months into his treatment he started seizing and these seizures could not be brought under control for 3 hours. He was again rushed to I.C.U. at Garden City Clinic and treated for "epilepsy".
Back at Donald Gordon he completed his chemo but as he had not gone into remission after the induction period it was decided that a bone marrow transplant would have to be performed and the search began for a suitable donor. No match was found amongst on the S.A. Bone marrow registry and so the search continued overseas and 100% match was found in Germany.
He was transferred to Unitas Hospital under Dr. Reynders and his port removed and a triple Hickman line inserted. His bone marrow was killed off completely with aggressive therapy and he was placed in isolation.
It was after this that Reef’s problems escalated. His little body swelled up with fluid to the point where he could hardly see out of his eyes and was unable to sit. Fluid also began to fill his lungs. His appetite disappeared and it was a battle to feed him. He was on so many intravenous medications that his liver started to take strain. He also developed chronic graft versus host disease which had been explained could be fatal.
He spent his first birthday in isolation and was very ill indeed. Having previously thought that he had been through the worst and the actual bone marrow transplant would be a breeze, we were horrified at how ill he became.
One morning his blood pressure started to drop severely and he was rushed back to Garden City Clinic – It was discovered that he had gone into septic shock due to an infection in the very lines that were keeping him alive. The Hickman lines were removed from his chest and he was put onto a ventilator. He once again swelled up beyond recognition, developed a Klebsiella virus as well as a fungal infection in his blood. His graft versus host disease became so bad at this time that blisters formed all over his little body which opened into suppurating sores. Every time the tried to turn him, his little face would get stuck to the pillow and he would start to bleed all over again. A Professor Modi was called in to see him with regard to this and he diagnosed his skin condition as Steven Johnsons disease (which thank God proved to be wrong at a skin biopsy done later) He started seizing again for 3 hour spells and no amount of "epilepsy" medication brought this under control.
It was decided to take Reef to a Neurologist to check up on the seizures. It was then discovered that he did not in fact have epilepsy at all, but had bilateral sub"dural bleeds on the brain from allowing his platelets to get too low " another huge shock to all concerned. Reef for almost a year has needed platelets every three days to keep his platelets above 50 and to prevent further bleeds on the brain.
Reef at present shows no signs of cancer, but graft versus host disease, lack of appetite and weight loss as well as damage to his liver present a huge problem. It looks as though Reef’s platelets are now finally engrafting and he has not needed platelets for almost 6 weeks now. God knows what we would have done without the hundreds of caring people who donated platelets for him regularly.
Reef is the youngest baby to undergo bone marrow transplant in South Africa. Reef is unable to straighten his fingers or clench his fists due to skin thickening and tightening from the GVHD which is also affecting his feet and he has reduced mobility because of this. The itching is severe and he is unable to sleep at night. Just screams and scratches. Reef is still unable to say even one word and is still being fed through a syringe (pureed veggies and fruit). Due to naso–gastric tube feeding for so long, he seems to have forgotten how to chew and swallow solid food. As nothing is know about CGVHD disease in children in this country there seems to be no help for him.
We thank God daily for the miracle that is Reef as well as for all his caregivers, doctors and the public who unfailingly have donated platelets to keep this brave little boy alive.
Daniel Johnson, born on the 20th of June 2007, was a lively boisterous little fellow. Always ready for action from the break of dawn until sometimes after his sleep time. However in 2011, his life drastically changed.
Early on in the year, he would complain to his mom and grand mom about a stomach ache. Various trips to doctors and the local clinic came back with a result of he has tonsillitis that was affecting his stomach. One Wednesday afternoon in early October he went to his gran and told her his tummy was sore. She felt a hard lump on his stomach and his temperature was also a bit high.
She took immediate action. With mom Wilma, the three of them went to the local clinic. Upon examination by a senior nurse it was decided that a referral to Red Cross Children’s Hospital was the only solution. The next day, after being registered at RCCH and being seen by the doctor, it was decided that an immediate operation was necessary. The operation itself was a success, but the cause of his illness was a shock to everyone at home.
The blockage in his bile, medically called intussusception (turning in on itself), was caused by cancer. Non lymphoblastic lymphoma, to be exact. After two days recovery he was transferred to the oncology ward at RCCH, where he underwent further tests to discover how far the cancer had spread. It was discovered that the cancer was only localised to his bile and that most of it was cut away during the operation. However two short sessions of chemotherapy was necessary to make sure that there was no more cancer cells.
While looking after Daniel at RCCH, during his chemotherapy, Wilma, Daniel’s mum was approached by Tania Goslett, a regular visitor to the oncology ward. She gave food and clothing for the kids in the ward, and gave them a business card, saying that if anyone needed help or support that they should contact her.
We, Wilma and Dominic, wish to thank the doctors and nurses at RCCH for their prompt and professional help. To the doctors in the oncology ward, particularly Dr Mark Hendricks, who is seeing to Daniel, a very big thank you for your help support and guidance. To Tania Goslett from the littlefighters, without you and your support for us during the trying period in our lives, we would be lost. Thanks to you all and God Bless you all for your help and dedication.
Here is Cameron’s story written by his mommy, Jackie:
Cammy was born on 21 May 2004. He has always been a healthy child. He hardly ever got ill. We we're in a financial slump last year August when Cam’s got ill. We took him to a government clinic who diagnosed him with Tonsilitis. His gland under his left jaw was pretty swollen.
He got his meds and improved but 3 weeks later got sick again. Once again the clinic said it was Tonsilitis. This time he got better. The gland however got bigger. We saved up some cash and took him to a GP.
The gland bothered us but not him. It was solid and moveable but interferred with him in no way. The GP sent him for blood tests because she suspected it could be cancer. The blood tests showed nothing on his Cd count and so that was ruled out. She referred us to a Paed who gave him antibiotics and said it should clear the gland/lymph node.
It was thought that the Tonsilitis germ could possibly have gotten stuck and was growing in his lymph node OR that he had TB of the lymph nodes. He took the meds but the node was still swollen. This was Feb of this year. My hubby was informed he would be taken on permanently and his package would echo file_get_contents med aid. As Cams was not ill we decided to wait till then. We were on a med aid 1 May and immediately saw a GP. Cams was booked to see a surgeon.
Unfortunately my hubby got seriously ill with swine flu, which both kids got as well so Cams had to postpone his appointment. My hubby passed away on the 30 May.
We were then informed that the med aid would only be effective till 30 June. I took full advantage of this and had both kids checked from head to toe. Kyle, who is turning 9 in December had no problems. Cams on the other hand needed glasses, was diagnosed with Perthes Disease and underwent surgery to remove the lump.
The histology report confirmed that Cams has Hodgkins Lymphoma.
This was the 30 June. We were then referred to doctor Rosie at Johannesburg Gen who saw us the following Monday. Immediately he went into theater and had bone marrow extracted, a piece of his hip bone removed and a lumber punch done. He then had a CT scan and PET scan done. These tests all confirmed he had stage 2 Lymphoma.
Cammy started chemo on the 18 July.
Ashley Hayes, born on November 9th, 2006
Ashley has Wilmes Tumor in his right kidney. He has undergone four sessions of chemotherapy to shrink the tumor to an operable size. The family is awaiting the operation date at the moment. Only after the tumor is removed will it be clear at what stage Ashley's Cancer is and what the treatment plan is.
Little Caiden Myburgh was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma at birth
Caiden was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma (Malignant Tumor that developed on his Right Kidney) from Birth. When he was born he didn’t drink / feed properly and everything that went in came out again. We did a scan to see what was wrong and they found a tumor on his right kidney.
At first the doctors assumed it was just a Tumor / growth that can be removed surgically.
He went for his first op when he was 10 days old in Alberton, Netcare Clinton Hospital. The operation was unsuccessful after 6 hours and they decided to stop because Caiden was losing a lot of blood, but they managed to take a sample and sent it for tests. The lab came back and told us that they found Cancerous cells in the sample and that Caiden has Cancer and we have to do a MIBG to see the size and where it has spread to.
He was still kept in Clinton Hospital to recover from the operation and 2 days later was sent to Pretoria, Netcare Unitas Hospital to start Chemo Therapy with Dr. David Reynders.
By then Caiden was too small to be transferred to the Paediatric Oncology Ward and was still kept in Neonatal ICU where he started his first Chemo Therapy and was later transferred to the Paediatric Oncology Ward.
He went for Chemo for 12 months and we did another MIBG to see how far the tumor has shrunk and if it was then possible to remove.
The Paediatric Surgeon was happy and we went for the second operation which they then removed the tumor successfully. After the removal we went for chemo again for 6 months and did a scan again to see if all was clear.
We are now going again in August for another scan and hopefully nothing will show again then we will be Cancer Free.
But the last 2 years has been tough Physically, Emotionally and Financially for me and my wife and of course Caiden. We a bit stress free since the last scan but we are paying off Medical Bills that’s over our heads.
Alexia van der Venter
She was born on the 6th of Aug 2009. My sister's 2nd daughter.
Our lives changed drastically on the 23rd of March 2011. This was the day she was diagnosed with a very high risk T-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia.
Our beautiful baby girl Alexia was sick! CANCER!!! The scariest word we have ever heard.
Alexia and my sister Jacqui were rushed by ambulance (from Mosselbay) to Red Cross Children's Hospital in Rondebosch. She was admitted to the Oncology Unit and Chemotherapy started the next day.
She underwent intense chemo, getting lumber punches, having bone marrow extractions and IV treatment for days on end. She was also on steroids and oral meds.
After 28 days she should have been in remission.... She wasn't. After a further 14 days of intense chemo she was in remission. Praise the Lord!!
Then the bombshell was dropped. Due to the fact that she took longer than required to go into remission, her doctor, Professor Alan Davidson, said she has to have a bone marrow transplant. Why??? She is in remission....
Because she took so long to go into remission the chances of the cancer coming back after the treatment is completed is great. A bone marrow transplant can only be done while she is in remission. If she relapses before receiving a bone marrow transplant she might not go into remission again.
The 4 potential matches on the South African Bone Marrow Registry (SABMR) were tested but they are not 100 % compatible. They are now looking abroad as there are 15 potential donors. To date no compatible donor has been found.
We spent 5 months in & out of Red Cross Children's Hospital. We have just spent 2 wonderful months at home. On Sunday, 11th Sept, we returned to Cape Town and intense chemo started on the 12th. Alexia, is currently still in Red Cross Hospital and is very sick. Her fever reaches up to 38.9 degrees and she is refusing to eat. The Chemo she is currently on is referred to as “ The Red Devil” as it is known for making patients very ill.
She is such a fighter and an immense joy in our lives. We cannot begin to imagine our lives without her. God bless everyone who has her in their prayers and everyone who is pulling together to help save Lexi!
Addele's story as told by her mother:
"Addele Jonker was born on September 3rd, 2010. In general, she is a healthy baby who rarely even got a cold. She met all her milestones, except for walking, as she is only now starting to walk. Each visit to the pediatrician, which we kept as per to the book, ended with the pediatrician being very satisfied with her progress and development. We never had any reason to be concerned.
A few months ago, she suddenly lost the use of her left hand. My father in law noticed this and was worried that she had arthritis or something. He made us aware of her little hand every day.I got sick and then busy at work and thought initially that her hand was perhaps hurt while playing with building blocks or something. I undertook to get her to the pediatrician the end of that month (maybe just to please her grandfather). Thank God I called the pediatrician on October 27th and explained the problem with her hand. He called her in for an examination immediately.
During the examination it showed that there was a definite reflex difference between her left and right hands and arms. He explained that he suspected that it could have to do with the nerves, and I could see the look of concern on his face. He promptly scheduled her for a CT Scan at the Paarl Medi- Clinic. The CT Scan showed a tumor on the right hand side of her brain.
We were transferred to the Panorama Medi- Clinic the following morning and Addele had an MRI which confirmed our worst expectations. From there, we were transferred from the private medical system to the Red Cross Childrens Hospital, which in itself, was quite a shock to the system.
According to the professors at Red Cross, the scan showed a huge tumor which seemed like an aggressive mass with growing tentacles. It was thought that there was already some of the tumerous growth in her brain stem. She had very bad swelling which was treated for over a week with steroids. The statement by the doctors that we could loose our daughter within weeks shattered our world.
On November 10th, 2011, she had major brain surgery and 95% of the tumor was removed. They could not initially do a biopsy with what they had removed from the membrane, and had to remove the center of the tumor. What they had to leave was an inoperable bit in the back of her brain as well as what was on the membrane of her brain stem.
The tumor was situated in the right hand side of her brain, which means they had to operate through the healthy part of her brain, and we were told this might leave her paralyzed! The operation lasted for eight hours and thankfully the only complication was that the tumor started bleeding profusely. They could rectify this with an in surgery blood transfusion.
Addele was in ICU for one day, two days in High Care and one day in the General Ward before we could go home.
After a week of torture, the biopsy results finally came.
Addele has Stage 2 Astrocytoma, and not Stage 4 as originally though. So, almost not cancer, but cancer afterall. All the arrangements were made for chemotherapy, and then a post operation setback. Major swelling on the side of her head caused by the bone they removed not sealing properly. We had to pause all plans for chemotherapy. After three Lumber Punches the moisture still built up and a shunt had to be inserted plus another port. Once again, a four hour operation!
We took our Little Fighter home to possibly only start chemotherapy on December 15th.
Addele has not quite regained use of her left hand side completely, but she is so determined to get along, despite the difficulty. She will sail around on her backside, but move, she will! Our OT has faith for complete healing.
Chemotherapy once a week every week for ten weeks is now ahead of us and it is really scary, but we can only trust and believe that it will be smoothe sailing from here on. God is faithful and we can see Him and his Hand in every happening until now, we can’t possibly not believe and have faith in Him for everything which is still ahead for us.
Currently we have a sense of peace in our hearts where Addele is concerned. Our child was supposed to be dead, but she LIVES! We thank God for every day that she opens her blue eyes and smiles, because it is one more day closer to complete healing.”
Eljane is one of our new Little Fighters. She is 15 years old and diagnosed with Hodgkins Disease stage 4 Lymphoma. We are also currently working very hard at making a Dream come true for Eljane, SO WATCH THIS SPACE!
Eljane started getting ill in the first week of her 2011 school year. She ended up in hospital with Gastro, a light lung infection and fever. Her fever spiked extremely high and the doctors struggled to break it. But, after a week, Eljane was discharged and went home, and was back at school that Monday.
Eljane kept being feverish and lightheaded, and on the Friday a friend phoned from school to tell Charlotte, Eljane’s mother, that Eljane is not looking too well. Charlotte took Eljane to the doctor immediately. The doctor sent Eljane for xrays and the verdict was Tuberculosis and she was sent to the Trichard Highveld Clinic.
There the specialist refused to accept the diagnosis of TB and ran more tests. Eljane is transferred to ICU and she still has a terribly high fever and is crying, she looks and IS very ill. The Saturday all the TB tests come back negative.
On Monday, Eljane is transferred to Die Hart in Pretoria where she is placed in the care of Dr Goolam. On March 30, 2011, while Eljane is receiving a blood transfusion, they are given the diagnosis. Eljane has Hodgkins Disease, and it is in Stage 4.
Eljane is referred to an Oncologist, Dr Chetty. Radioactive scans confirm that she has Cancer in her lungs, spinal cord and liver.
Dr Goolam will be using Eljane’s xrays in his next conference in the US as he has never seen or heard of a case where Hodgkins Disease started in the fourth stage.
On June 3rd, 2011, Eljane was diagnosed with Memengites and had to receive intraveinous antibiotics for 10 days. The Doctors ppermitted her to stay out of hospital, on the condition that they stay within 5 minutes from the hospital grounds. She went in to receive medication twice daily. Eljane has a younger brother, who due to school exams, could not be with her and her mother during those ten days, and the family of three was heartbroken to be torn apart like this.
At the moment Eljane is doing well, she will still be going in to hospital for Chemo treatment and regular checkups. During the past few months, this family have gone through many life altering experiences.
Eljane is determined to get back to school next year and have changed her plans for the future from wanting to study Law, to becoming an Oncologist. This young lady has the wisdom to realise that she can make a tremendous difference in the lives of other Cancer Children, because of the Fight she is fighting right now.
Ghanaan is only 2 years old and has Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. She has just completed 6 months of intensive Chemotherapy, and her doctor at Red Cross confirmed that she still has 2 years of Chemotherapy ahead of her.
Ghanaan is 2 years old and has a little sister, Amaani, who is 8 months old. Ghanaan was diagnosed with ALL in January 2011 and mommy and daddy got divorced in May. Mommy is the sole breadwinner for the family. They live with mommy Ayesha's sister and needs to pay rent, water and electricity, buy food, nappies, formula and pay for transport to and from the hospital on a very small budget.
This is Ghanaan’s story.
It was sunday the 30th January 2011, a month before Ghanaan’s 2nd birthday. Ghanaan had bug like symptoms, vomiting, fever and diarrhea. Later that night her dad put her down to walk and she just toppled over. He then tried to let her walk again and she just fell over again. He then rushed her through to Gateville medical centre where they called the pediatrician and he then did an MRI scan as well as blood tests. On monday 31st January he called us to his rooms and there he gave me the worst news that broke my heart. He told me that my baby had leukemia! She was immediately rushed to Red X oncology unit where she started chemotherapy immediately. We stayed in hospital for the first month of her treatment as she was not handling the chemo too well. Eventually after about 4 weeks they let us go home. We were home for about a week when she spiked a temp so back to hospital for another 2 weeks. She often picked up infections and we spent quite a lot of time in hospital. At one stage she got mucositis and was on morphine for 2 weeks for the pain, they also had to insert an NG tube as she was not able to eat and was losing a lot of weight. And so it went on, in and out of hospital for the next few months. Ghanaan started her maintenance on 5th September 2011 and she still has another 2 years of chemo to get through. It has already been a long, hard journey for us and we still have a long road ahead of us! Not sure what the road ahead holds but with the support of people who care for us I am sure we will get there and I know that my baby girl will win this battle she is currently fighting!
Jessica Burger Watridge
When Jessica was introduced to the Little Fighters Cancer Trust as a Cancer Diagnosed baby, she was less than 4 months old!
Jessica Burger–Watridge from Polokwane is an innocent baby girl whom was diagnosed with Leukemia and rushed to Unitas Hospital on Monday 21 february. The pediatrician treating her reports that he had never seen a child of this age with such a high white blood cell count, throughout his career.
Mom Cindy Watridge, a Mitchell House teacher, and dad Jandre Burger are currently staying in Pretoria with relations while Jessica is undergoing a 39 day treatment plan, including chemotherapy, spread over four months after which a bone marrow transplant is crucial for her recovery.
Oncologist, dr David Reynders explains that Jessica has been diagnosed with infant leukemia which is caused by a translocation of certain genes, that the prognosis is generally not very good and the survival rate is very low.
Cindy reports that although a medical aid exists for Jessica the medical plan will soon be depleted and donations to cover all the costs as well as prayers are desperately needed. How many of us would come prepared for such a situation? The cost of this treatment is unexpected and devastating. Therefore any financial aid would help the family to give Jessica all the treatment necessary to fight this killer disease. It is also Cindy’s wish that the general public should be more aware of bone marrow donation. It is something very few people know anything about and is crucial in saving the lives of children/patients such as Jessica.
Jared Matthew Deans
3 year old Jared Matthew Deans has Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma
Jarred was diagnosed with a malignant tumor "Alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma", 2 weeks after he turned 1.
(Sarcomas are cancers that develop from connective tissues in the body, such as muscles, fat, membranes that line the joints, or blood vessels. There are many types of sarcomas. Rhabdomyosarcoma is a cancer made up of cells that normally develop into skeletal muscles. The body contains 3 main types of muscles.
- Skeletal (voluntary) muscles are muscles that we control to move parts of our body
- Cardiac muscle is the main muscle type in the heart
- Smooth muscle is the main type of muscle in internal organs (except for the heart). For example, smooth muscles in the intestines push food along as it is digested. We do not control this movement
About 7 weeks into the development of an embryo, rhabdomyoblasts (cells that will eventually form skeletal muscles) begin to form. These are the cells that can develop into the cancer called rhabdomyosarcoma. Because this is a cancer of embryonal cells, it is much more common in children, although it does occur in adults occasionally.
We think of our skeletal muscles as being mainly in our arms and legs, but these skeletal muscle cancers can start nearly anywhere in the body. Common sites echo file_get_contents:
- Head and neck (near the eye, inside the nasal sinuses or throat, or near the spine in the neck)
- Urinary and reproductive organs (bladder, prostate gland, or any of the female organs)
- Arms and legs
- Trunk (chest and abdomen)
Rhabdomyosarcomas can even start in some parts of the body that don’t normally have skeletal muscle.)
Little Jared was operated on and started chemo immediately. Doctors gave him a 20% chance of survival. Half way through his protocol he was re–scanned and the scan showed that Jarred has no sign of the tumor. As per protocol 28 sessions of radiation was carried through whilst he endured chemo. Jarred was discharged from the Donald Gordon Hospital after a period 9 months. He then continued and completed his maintenance chemo for a period of 6 months and now goes in for his 6 week check–up. He has had 3 scans and a x–ray and no sign of the tumor has been detected.
Muhammad Ebrahim Hussain
Mohamad Hussain was born on 15/09/2009. From the age of 6 months, the new parents began noticing that Mohamad was not always feeling too well. After numerous visits to the pediatricians, Mohamad was diagnosed with a condition known as Heamophycotic Syndrome. He was admitted to hospital for a four month stay at this time.
For 18 months, Muhammad was doing well. He was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in March 2012.
Mohamad and his family is based in Port Elizabeth and has to travel to Cape Town for treatment every so often at Red Cross Children's Hospital. When well enough to receive treatment in Port Elizabeth, Muhammad is treated at Greenacres Hospital.
Muhammad's father, a qualified pharmacist, had to leave his employment to be the primary care giver. Often in hospital for several months at a time, it is impossible for Muhammad's Father to commit to employment at this stage. The decision for Muhammad's Mother to continue her nursing studies was made whilst keeping in mind that she is very close to receiving her qualification.
The family has made huge sacrifices to offer Muhammad the best that they possibly can. The strain, financially and emotionally, has been horrific, but they are still standing and weathering the onslaught of childhood cancer bravely.
Theo Eli Halgreen
Here is Theo's story, as written by mommy, Shanel. Most of you will find it difficult to believe, that he is not even yet 1 year old, but yet have endured a lot more than some people do in a lifetime.
"Theo was born on 26 July 2013 weighing a healthy 3.4kg , he is the friendliest little baby you will ever meet as he started smiling at just 3 weeks old.
16 January 2014 Theo's granny who babysits him during the day while we are working discovered a lump on his abdomen, his tummy was a bit lopsided when he lied flat on his back. Me being the paranoid mum took him down to the casualties the same night where they did a X-ray, x-ray couldn't show what it was so they told us to come back in the morning to do a sonar.
We returned to hospital the following morning and a sonar and MRI scan was performed, showing a mass on one of his kidneys. That alone was terrifying for us as parents, the only comfort we received was when the urologist told us its a deformed kidney that never stopped growing since birth which needed to be removed. Told us to come in on Monday morning and book him in for the operation, only to go to our paediatrician the Monday and heard the shocking news.
We have to go to Cape Town to have this operation performed, as it was a malignant tumour, called a WILMS tumour. Cancer in the kidney. That just took the wind out of our sails, after that everything has been a blur for us all, it all happened so fast, one moment we are sitting in the doctor's surgery receiving this news, the next moment we find ourselves on a plane to Cape Town. Our little boy unaware and oblivious to everything that is going on around him, still smiling and laughing all the way. It broke my heart and it still breaks my heart thinking back and looking at all the photos. How can such a healthy baby boy suffer like this?
Tuesday morning we had him booked into the Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital to have his surgery performed the next day by the wonderful Dr Richard Wood. We will forever be so grateful for the wonderful work he has done to save our baby boy's life.
Little Theo was operated on Wednesday morning, a 3 and half hour long operation to remove his kidney, adrenal gland and the tumour. The tumour weighed close to 600g! After surgery he was observed for 4 days in the paediatric ICU, to see our baby boy in pipes, and drips was the most heart breaking picture to describe. Sedated, no smile on that face and soft whimpers from him to let us know he was so hungry. By Friday he was awake and when he saw us....we received a BIG SMILE from him, we burst out crying, so amazed that two days after such a big surgery he was smiling already!!!!
He is currently on a 6 month chemo program and is still receiving chemo therapy and he will be done by August. A port catheter was inserted by his chest to be able to receive his chemo as pain free as possible. And up to this day our brave boy has never got sick and has shown NO side effects from the chemo at all. He is a healthy, fat and happy baby boy .... he shows me that no matter what life throws at him, he will take it on with a HUGE SMILE on his face!!!"
Here is Johnathan’s story as per mommy Frances:
"Our little boy, Jonathan (or Seun as he is affectionately known by many) was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma (cancer) a week before his 3rd birthday being the 22nd of November 2010 after having what 3 different doctors claimed to be "growing pains" in his one leg. It ended up being lesions from the cancer having spread throughout his body and into his bones. Drs gave us several "death sentences", the last one being the day before his birthday, telling us that he will not live longer than a year. BY THE GRACE OF GOD, my child has "lost" his limp, is running, playing, eating us out of the house...At the beginning of March we redid all the tests (MIBG, MRI, and CT) – the test results came back looking very good, MUCH better then what they looked at the point of diagnosis. There is now only a 13mm lesion (cancer) left on the membrane of his brain, a lesion in his stomach and various other small specs in his abdomen, two tumors coming from his spine and then the main tumor which has shrunk from 3cm by 7cm to 3cm by 2cm, we are immensely grateful for this report and praise the Lord for it. Jonathan went in for surgery on the 25th of May 2010 where one of the tumors was cleanly removed for biopsy. The biopsy showed that 50% of the cells are dead already and so we've restarted a new phase of chemo. On Wednesday (31st August 2011) we are having the last of the chemo of second phase of treatment, and Jonathan is coping well. He has lost all his hair once again but is otherwise doing wonderfully. we are re-testing again early in September to see how far we’ve won the battle.
My child is a gift from God, and, as a good friend of mine said...GOD DOES NOT REDEEM SPECIAL GIFTS! We anoint Jonathan every night with olive oil and he sleeps under a prayer cloth. Please pray with us as we go on this journey holding God’s hand."
Born 20 September 2011
Ethan was just like any other toddler… full of life and cute as a button! He was so lucky to have his Dad feel a lump in his right leg. We did not hesitate to get to a pediatrician right away and after a scan, a MRI and finally a biopsy, it was confirmed to be a cancerous growth.
Ethan was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma of the right leg muscle at 16 months old with the ray of hope that it had not yet spread. We started a 5 day chemotherapy session immediately after insertion of a port which was an adjustment beyond words. Our entire lives and how we lived it had changed. Days in hospital replaced outings to the park, check-ups replaced trips to the mall; low blood counts replaced visits to family and friends.
Life was about keeping everything clean and sterilized, keeping Ethan free from fevers, and declining invitations, explaining his disease over and over to everyone. Life was exhausting!
At 18 months, Ethan braved major surgery to have the now shrunken lump (the lump had shrunk significantly due to chemotherapy) completely removed. He now sports a scar about 15cm long on his right thigh where the cut was made to remove the lump. He further conquered 20 days of radiation under general anesthetic to the affected area to be sure all the cancer cells are destroyed. After this, there were maintenance chemo sessions of alternating 5 and 2 days in hospital every 3 weeks. He had fought hard during this time to keep his strength up, and was an inspiration to me to keep going. At times it was very hard on us all, but Ethan’s smile and infectious laughter through it all really made the difference.
We have just completed our 51 week treatment plan, and thank God for carrying Ethan through his fight. Our fight continues with check-ups and later a surgery to remove his port.
This is a very short account of a story that brings tears to my eyes whenever I think of my brave son. His undeniable strength and resilience has given me a brand new lease on life and taught us so many beautiful lessons. He is truly a Little Fighter to be reckoned with!
Reece was born on the 16th of march 2013.
He was a blessing and an amazing child from the moment he took his first breathe. Reece developed very well from the beginning, growing at a rapid rate and always developing mentally quicker than other babies his age. but one thing that he always had problem with was sleeping. He never slept well and I always had a feeling that something was bothering him.
When Reece was about 6 months old, he did this very strange arm twitch motion added with an eye flicker. He did it on and off for a week, but only I saw it, and when I mentioned it, everyone said not to worry as its just his muscles growing. He never did it again so i forgot about it. Then when Reece was 8 months old he had a mini seizure. He was playing and he just passed out and went limp for about 8 seconds added with the eye flicker again. We took him straight away to the doctor who sent us to the pediatrician who sent us for a brain wave scan.
They felt he might have epilepsy. The brain wave scan came back normal, and as Reece was developing so well they told us to just watch him. Although Reece was developing. well, he still wasn't crawling yet, which was a concern but we were told not to worry as every baby develops differently. but Reece was very active in his walking ring, scooting around like a pro!!
In the beginning of December 2013, two weeks before Reece turned 9 months he was very unhappy. He screamed day and night, and slept even less than normal. We went to the doctor who said it must just be his teeth as he was cutting two teeth at once. It was terrible to see my little man in so much pain, nothing I did soothed him.
Then one Friday morning we woke up, i put Reece in his ring, and he just stayed still. He didn't move one inch. I then took him out and put him on the couch, but he couldnt sit anymore, he just flopped over. I tried to pull him up onto his legs to stand as he had been doing for a while, but he couldn't stand. The pain he has been in seemed to also have subsided.
This was very concerning. I also noticed a small bruise on his back, so I assumed he had somehow hurt himself. We waited the weekend, but by Monday he was still no better, so off to the doctor again. She seemed very concerned and sent us to the paeditrition again the next day, who was also very concerned and sent us to Tygerberg Hospital on the 13/12/13 for an MRI scan.
He had to be put under anaesthetic to have the scan which was scary. While he was in recovery from the MRI, the doctor came to tell us that they had found a tumour on his spine. The tumour would have been growing for a while and would have been the reason for all the pain over the last 2 weeks.
They would remove it the next day and were confident they could remove it all, and send it off to be tested for a diagnosis. We were told that they couldn't promise his mobilty would return and the operation itself was not a guarantee that he would surivive as is with all operations on a baby.
That night was the worst night of my life! I was so worried about Reece and the operation, and so worried about his future mobilty.
The next day, they took bloods from Reece, it was so scary seeing my child's blood for the first time and he was screaming as they help him down. My poor child.
Just before they took him in to theatre, the doctor came to tell us something that would change our lives forever, and show us that what we were feeling the last day was nothing in comparison to what we were about to be told....
They had initially only seen the little tumour on his spine, but on further insection of the MRI, they saw a large tumour that was covering his left kidney, pushing against his aorta, his lung and then pushing through his spine. It was an extensive tumor and only the small part on the spine could be removed. The rest would need chemo after the biopsy was done and other rests to stage the cancer, but the preliminary diagnoses was neuroblastoma cancer. It was hard to say without more testing but they gave Reece 40% to 70 % chance of surviving this very aggressive type of cancer.
With that bombshell Reece was sent off to theatre. I went with him, stayed with him until he was asleep, and then turned to leave my angel with strangers armed with scalpels. I have never been so scared and so devastated in my entire life. Never in my wildest dreams had I ever imagined I would be going through this as a new first time mother.
After the longest four hours of my life, not knowing if I would ever hold or see my smiling child again, they called us in to say the operation went well, and he was in ICU recovering. We went in to see our baby boy with tubes and pipes coming from everywhere. but he was breathing!!
The next day he was sent to the paediatric oncology ward- 3 words that should never be put together!!
The following week they did numerous tests, including a bone marrow sample from his hips, another full MRI of body and brain, bone scan, blood tests etc etc. He had a total of 4 anaesthetics! After the week we were told Reece had stage 3 neuroblastoma, which means its too large to operate, but its not in the organs, bone marrow, or bones. The cancer is just localised to the one large mass, and it explains why Reece has never slept well. He has probably felt pain for most of his little life. This explains why it was too painful to crawl.
He needs 6 months of chemo, and then another operation to remove what's left.
To date Reece has received 4 chemo treatments and he has been hospitalised 3 times in between chemos for infections due to chemo side effects. Blood counts are done almost weekly.
He has had a port inserted into his chest which is a central IV line that they use for chemo, as his little veins couldn't handle the drips. At one stage he had bruises and burst veins on both hands and feet and it was becoming very painful and traumatic for him and me as I go in with him for every single prick, prod or procedure.
The port makes things easier, but the chance of infection is higher due to this being a foreign body, so we have to keep a very close eye on our little hero all the times, constantly checking his temperature, lumps, bumps, rashes and abnormal behaviour. The hardest part of this is not knowing if a symptom is chemo related or a normal behaviour of a growing baby.
He is semi-housebound as we need to be very cautious of him as even catching a common cold could kill him if his blood counts are too low. We have to make his home the most entertaining, happy place there is and we do. We have the most fun at home and Reece loves his life, he doesn't know that there is anything wrong in his life. His life is full of fun, laughs and love. We love to laugh as much as we love to cuddle and kiss.
Reece gets sick from chemo, loses his appetite and throws up. He has lost weight, but has never lost his smile. He has regained movement back in his legs and is now crawling and standing up.
This journey is very hard, draining and financially crippling. but our amazing child keeps us going as much as we keep him going. He is a huge inspiration and I have learned more from my child already than I have ever thought possible. This journey has taken me to places I never knew I had the strength to go, and has made me stronger and our angel stronger too.
He will survive, we will survive and we will all look back and thank each other for all that we did together, as a unit, as a family. Love and faith will conquer all.
Love is what makes us wake up and fight each day with all the power that we fought it the day before. The end is near, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
It shines as bright as the love in my heart for my angel, my warrior, my hero, my Reece.
Written by Ashleigh Barends aka da mamma
21 March 2014"
Charmonique was born 28 weeks prematurely, on December 24th, 2013. After two months in hospital, she could go home with Mommy and Daddy.
Just before her 1 year check-up in December 2014, Mommy noticed a lump in her side, and took her to the doctor, insisting that he has a closer look. He did some tests, and Charmonique was diagnosed with Malignant Neoplasm Heptoblastoms (Liver Cancer).
Charmonique is a real little princess, and loves anything pink. Her most favourite toys are ones which makes a lot of noise!
Please keep Charmonique and her Family in a special place in your hearts and prayers!
Sydni is 14 years old and has Downs Syndrome. Her Mommy passed away just before Christmas 2013 from Colon Cancer, and since then, it has only been Sydni and Granny Mearle.
Sydni was diagnosed with Brain Cancer a little over a week ago, and has already had three surgeries. She receives chemo therapy at the moment, and needs Granny Mearle with her 24/7. Sydni had a terrible seizure this Sunday morning at about 03:00, and cannot go home today, as was planned, as she needs a series of brain scans done.
We ask that you keep Sydni and Granny Mearle in a special place in your hearts and prayers.
Kaitlyn is 4 years old, and was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia in February 2014.
Kaitlyn's mommy, Isabel, met one of Aunty Sue's ladies (they sell the Funky Frogs for us country wide and raise #ChildCancerAwareness in Malls), after which she made contact with us.
Tammy Lee McThomas
Tammy-Lee is 9 years old, and in Grade 3 at Touwsriver Primary School.
On May 26th, 2015, a 30cm growth was removed from her abdomen, as well as one of her ovaries. She was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, and is starting her chemotherapy treatment tomorrow.
In this case, we would like to mention Mr Bennie du Plessies, the headmaster of Touwsriver Primary School. He made contact with us shortly after Tammy-Lee was diagnosed, and since, has organized fundraisers at school to assist Tammy-Lee's Family and actively does childhood cancer awaeness drives in their local community.
Even though Tammy-Lee does not feel well every day, the school is most accommodating, in having a special room for her where she can rest if she tires during the day, as she wants to spend time with her friends when possible.
He is 5 years old, and was diagnosed with Right Nephroblastoma (caner of the kidney), on December 22nd, 2014.
He was misdiagnosed until mommy took him to another hospital after four months of persisting distended stomach.
He had 4 weeks of chemo, after which his right kidney was surgically removed on January 24th. After surgery, he endured six radiation sessions, and currently is on weekly chemo, including Red Devil, which will last for the next 6-9 months.
Camden has two older sisters and lives in Durban.
He loves Batman and anything with wheels! His favourite colour is blue.
Camden has to have organic food only, no red meats and can only drink bottled water due to having to look after his remaining kidney. He has Stage 3 Cancer, which is also present in his lymph system.
Melle is 16 years old and a Grade 11 learner from Dysselsdorp. Melle lives with her aunt.
Melle was diagnosed with Lymphoma last week, and is still pretty new to cancer, the tests and what treatment entails.
Hendrik is 8 years old and in Grade 3. He was a normal healthy child, full of life. Loves the outdoors - fishing & hunting and is a knife collector.
He loves rugby (a Stormers fan) and cricket.
He has two siblings, his little sister Izanli is 5 years, and his baby brother Manus is all of 20 months.
Mommy Izel took Hendrik for a normal sugar level test, which came out normal. But the doctor noticed some bruises, which lead to more tests, and Hendrik was diagnosed with AML Leukemia on the 6th of May 2015.
Hendrik started Chemo Mommy Izel says he is taking the treatment pretty well with no ill side effects as of yet!
Hendrik's Aunt is a cancer Survivor, she had liver-cancer when she was 18 months old, and the very same doctor who treated his Aunt 19 years ago, is now also Hendrik's doctor.
We would like to introduce you to Jason Sherman, a new #LittleFighter.
We received this message from Jenni, Jason's mommy.
“I’m sitting at my son's bedside, reading your posts on Facebook.
Thought I would add my story of my son's cancer treatment since 2011. We are from Port Elizabeth. My son is 15 and has relapsed a month before his 4th year in remission.
He is in Vincent Pallotti after having a double joint replacement, in a 5 hour op on Friday. He is still in High Care, but will be transferred to a ward tomorrow.
His cancer has come back in his shoulder and ankle. Previously, he had limb salvage surgery and 13 operations after having chemo at Red Cross Hospital, followed by intense chemo."
Jason was diagnosed with Osteogenic Sarcoma in 2011.
Ruben de Winnaar
Ruben de Winnaar was born on 18.04.2014, so is now 11 months old. When Ruben was 3 months old, he was diagnosed with Retinoblastoma in both eyes. His daddy had Retinoblastoma when he was a child, and survived, although he did lose one of his eyes.
Ruben receives laser treatment every first Monday of the month, and also received 6 sessions of chemotherapy. His left eye specifically, has large and worrisome tumours, while the tumours in his right eye is not deemed problematic yet.
We would like to introduce you to 6 year old Little Fighter, Tiffany and her mommy, Stephanie.
Tiffany has Retinoblastoma (a type of eye cancer which usually develops during early childhood) and has lost her left eye.
Caitlyn Jane Demas
We would like to introduce you to Caitlyn Jane Demas she is 17 years of age.
She was diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma, stage 2 on the 15th of April 2014, a month before her 17th birthday
Heini van Straaten
This is not the normal story off a child with brain cancer. This story of Heini goes along with a lot of tears. We have met Heini and he is a wonderful positive little boy. Heini does not deserve what has happened to him and his mother, but please read their story.
Heini's mother, Lize and father, Adriaan got married when they were older. Heini was born and they were a very happy family.
Heini's dad Adriaan died when he was 1 year and 4 months old. He had a massive stroke. (I believe Adriaan was in his late 30's or early 40's when he died)
Now Lize (who was adopted) was alone with her baby. When Heini was 3 years old and during November 2012 the doctors diagnosed him with - Epidymoma. A Malignant brain cancer. Heini had his brain operation during November 2012 in Red Cross Hospital for children. After that he had to go for the treatment (radiation) this took everybody by surprise and poor Heini was very sick every time. During this period Heini lost contact with all this friends, which he misses a lot. He is most off the time alone and playing by himself. There is no money to send Heini to attend a pre-school.
As Lize was with her sick child in hospital she had to choose between her job and her sick child. Lize chose her child and then lost her job.
You can understand the strain Lize had to take being jobless with a very sick child and lots of accounts.
Lize lost everything and she and Heini moved into a dear friend’s house to share a room. Mother and child sleep on a double bed and now they are living off donations. Lize could not find a job as Heini is still too sick.
This is not yet the end of the story. Lize is now struggling with depression due to all the strain she had to take.
Heini now have problems with his eyes and they have to be in Red Cross Hospital on the 8th of April 2014 for an eye operation. This was due to the cancer and brain tumour the doctors removed as I understand.
Heini is 5y old now, and there is something growing back where the other tumour was removed. They are going back to Red Cross children’s hospital on the 6th of May 2015.
Heini must go to Groote Schuur braintumor clinic on 28th of august 2015 for radiation.