A sad farewell for little Thylo

Thylo Uys

Friends and family said goodbye to Thylo Uys, 11, from Eastridge, on Thursday April 26 as he lost his battle with cancer.

Everybody was devastated to hear the news that a friend, brother, pupil and son had passed on so soon.

In September last year, Thylo was confirmed to have stage 4 brain cancer, Glioblastomas (GBM), a fast-growing tumour on the brain, with a prognosis of just over a year to live (“The trauma of childhood cancer”, Plainsman, September 20 2017).

A pupil at Cornflower Primary School, in Lentegeur, his mother, Leticia, first took him for medical treatment in June when he was feverish and constantly falling.

A memorial service was held for Thylo at the school on Thursday May 3.

In her tribute, principal Cherie Meyer-Williams said Thylo was a good student.

“He progressed well from one grade to the next. Last year he could not attend school as he fell ill in February. He did well in school and loved all of his friends.

“Thylo was courageous, he was strong. When we visited him at the hospital, he would always greet us with a smile as he was cheerful in nature. He will remain the Cornflower Champion of 2017, he showed real bravery. His memories will live on until we meet again,” said Ms Meyer-Williams.

The various grades and teachers rendered items in song, prayer, and poetry for Thylo.

Terrance Smith, who was Thylo’s Grade 6 teacher at Cornflower in 2017, said: “Thylo had his own way of answering his work. I always looked forward to marking his papers. I knew something was wrong when I noticed his handwriting turning into scribbling in his workbook. Even though he fell sick, his character will stay with us forever, his light shines the brightest for us.”

Heather Malgas, a teacher at Cornflower Primary School, was part of the CANSA Relay for Life team for Thylo in February this year. They walked with him at the event at Stephen Reagan sports field and pushed him in his wheelchair around the field as a tribute to cancer survivors.

The school had started with the Relay for Life in 2014, with 12 teachers. Last year almost 30 people gathered to walk with Thylo. Everyone went the extra mile for him, especially Mr Smith, Saadiqa Abrahams, the chairperson of CANSA Relay for Life and Cloretta Ontong, a teacher at Cornflower.

Relay 4 Life played a massive part in supporting Thylo and his family.

His grandmother, Avril Uys, from Woodlands, use to be a teacher at Cornflower Primary School but retired in 2014.

Ms Uys said: “Thylo loved his food. He would always tease me and the others at home. I will miss his craziness.”

One of his best friends and classmates, Siphosihle Kombora, 12, from Phillipi, said: “He was a good friend to me. He liked making jokes and always talked about movies. He liked Mexican paaper. He especially loved the Noem my Skollie movie; he liked talking about the characters in the movie. I cannot put into words how much I will miss Thylo.”

Another of his best friends, Abdulmueed White, 12, from Lentegeur, said: “He loved his songs and running around at school. He liked playing soccer and playing with cars. He was always a nice person. I will miss him because he was my best friend.”

Ms Abrahams, from Westridge, said: “He became part of the Relay for Life through Cornflower Primary School. CANSA delivered a service to the family to support them in this time. I walked the journey with Thylo, we had our moments and spent time together. It was emotional but very fun. In the end it was only a pleasure to be a part of his journey.”

Mother, Leticia, said she was really proud of Thylo’s achievements. He was a happy and beautiful child and will forever be remembered and kept in their hearts.