You don’t know Olga or her four-year-old grandson, Johan* – but your past kindness has made a special difference in both their lives.
It seems so cruel and unfair when a tiny child is diagnosed with cancer, as happened to Johan before he was even a year old.
Because his parents’ circumstances in Johannesburg were such that they were unable to look after him, his grandparents in Bloemfontein stepped in to help.
At the Universitas Hospital, Johan was tested again and it was confirmed that he had Stage 4 bladder cancer. Johan and Olga stayed in the hospital for the first week of his chemotherapy. Then it was back and forth for blood tests and more chemotherapy. The side effects of spiking temperatures and no appetite meant that Johan needed extra special care.
Then came the surgery. His bladder, prostate and appendix were removed, leaving him with a stoma and fitted with a urine bag. In a young child stoma management is especially difficult, especially when the skin gets raw, and frequent urinary infections set in.
Supply of the bags is also a problem. Olga can’t afford the costly private purchase, and the state supply regularly runs out. This is where your donations really helped – allowing us to supply Johan’s bags at a discounted price as well as give her invaluable support and advice from our stomatherapy team.
Olga had this to say: “The service I’m getting from CANSA is absolutely the best I have ever seen. Thanks!” And Olga’s words of gratitude are all thanks to friends like you!
But it still wasn’t over. A tumour was discovered on Johan’s tiny penis, and successfully removed with the foreskin. A month later his tonsils also had to be removed.