A Tafelsig girl who is fighting brain cancer will be among those who will be kept in mind when the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA) Mitchell’s Plain Relay for Life takes place next month.
Caythlin Fox, 11, was diagnosed at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital on Monday December 12, after doctors could not initially confirm why she was vomiting, could not walk and had slurred speech for about a week.
Saadiqa Abrahams, chairperson of the Cansa Mitchell’s Plain Relay for Life Survivors’ Committee, said they will do everything they can to help Caythlin who is being supported by her grandmother, Minnie Fox.
She will also be putting them in touch with Reach for a Dream, an NPO which encourages children to use their dreams to fight life-threatening illnesses and, as far as possible, makes these dreams come true.
Caythlin had been staying with her paternal grandparents on the West Coast and was not recovering after being given an antihistamine and medicine for pain and fever.
Her maternal grandmother Minnie Fox told the Plainsman Caythlin could not get out of the car, when she first saw her.
“We took her to Dr Kagee, in the Town Centre, who then referred us to Tafelsig clinic, where the results of her blood tests confirmed that her liver was fine and that she did not have gallstones,” she said.
On Wednesday December 6 she was taken from Tafelsig clinic to the children’s hospital, in Rondebosch.
Two days later she went for a Computerized Axial Tomography (CAT or CT) scan, a special X-ray test that produces cross-sectional images of the body using X-rays and a computer. The results were negative.
“There was nothing wrong with her brain (at that stage),” said Ms Fox.
On Monday December 11, Caythlin was sent for a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), a test that uses powerful magnets, radio waves and a computer to make detailed pictures inside your body. This showed she had a tumour on the brain. On December 21 she was operated on and 60% of the tumor was removed.
She was discharged on Friday January 5 and returned two weeks later for physiotherapy and speech therapy.
While the doctors are deciding on her treatment, Ms Fox said she is praying.
“God must heal her and I know God is going to heal her because there are lots of people praying for her.”
Ms Fox said it is difficult to get Caythlin to hospital.
By car it costs them R100 per trip to the hospital and then Ms Fox calls another person to fetch them. It costs them about the same to use public transport. They need to take a taxi to the Town Centre, another taxi to hospital and back again.
Caythlin gets tired quickly and the family is looking for a wheelchair to help her get around.
Caythlin told the Plainsman she would like to own a tuckshop, so she can raise money to go to Germany.
This was after some German exchange students she had met on the West Coast had made an impression on her.
Cansa Relay for Life Mitchell’s Plain will be taking place at Stephen Reagon sports field, from 6pm on Friday March 2 until 6am on Saturday March 3. The event unites cancer survivors and the communities that care about them by forming relay teams to continuously circle a track for 18 to 24 hours because, they say, cancer neither slumbers nor sleeps.
Relay teams of 10 to 15 members may enter at a cost R750. For more information and to participate, call Saadiqa Abrahams on 061 494 1413 or Leatitia Jordaan on 082 952 7797.