Reefie Goes to School :-D

Our smiling boy Reef Carneson

Somehow or the other (I believe it is Kismet), I got connected with the Little Fighters Cancer Trust Facebook Page shortly after they started it (around mid 2011), and one of the first Children with Cancer that I became aware of was Reef Carneson.

Reef was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) at the age of 5 months, during a routine paediatric check-up. He had an extremely high white cell count (200,000) and at the time his parents were told that his prognosis was not good at all.

A month into Chemotherapy Treatment Reef went into renal failure and was put on dialysis in Morningside I.C.U. after which he returned to Donald Gordon Medical Centre and continued with an extremely aggressive protocol of chemotherapy.

Unfortunately Reef’s fight against cancer had only just begun… Read more about this early period on our website.

Eventually, unable to get the treatment that he required in South Africa, his parents, Ryan and Lydia, made the huge decision in 2011 to move to the USA. Since he has been there his condition has improved immensely but he is still fighting severe graft-versus-host disease (GVHD),  and at the end of 2014 was again diagnosed with skin cancer on his scalp and face, which is being treated with topical chemotherapy cream.

All of us at LFCT have continued to watch Reef’s almighty fight with cancer and his progress, his ups and his downs, and have shared his family’s joy, laughter and tears throughout the years. One thing is for sure: THIS Little Fighter is not gonna let cancer beat him!

What is really great though is that THIS article came up in my Facebook feed today and it gave me such a GREAT feeling of utter joy and  thankfulness – WHAT a way to start the weekend! You GO, Reefie!

Screen Capture of Reef

6-year-old cancer patient well enough to begin school

CINCINNATI —A simple high-five to a classmate and a teacher would not have been remotely possible for 6-year-old Reef Carneson three months ago.

The youngster, who suffers from a rare form of skin cancer, had never been to school due to his compromised medical situation. But after showing improvement in March and early April, Reef was able to live out a dream. He began attending school.

His story and inspirational spirit have captured the hearts of many people in the Greater Cincinnati region.

Since mid-April, he has been healthy enough to be in a school setting for the first time. At Symmes Elementary in Loveland, it has been a true learning experience for all involved.

His late-year admission has been a heartening experience and an adjustment. His peers and teachers did their homework.

“We did some things on the front end to make sure that we were ready for Reef,” Principal Anne Van Kirk said.

Special education teachers at Symmes Elementary put together a Powerpoint presentation. It was shown to teachers and classes at the school. It showed pictures of Reef, information about his condition, his life and background.

“And because Reef has a special look to him, we wanted to make sure that the children had the information and were equipped to welcome him into their classroom,” Van Kirk said.

The welcome was praised by Reef’s parents Thursday as they dropped him off at the start of afternoon kindergarten class. It would be an understatement to say he has adjusted quickly.

Ryan Carneson, Reef’s father, cracked a smile as he said, “He didn’t even say goodbye to me. He just left and went down the passage.”

Read more and watch a short video of Reefie running around at his new school here

Rock it for Reef Facebook Page

Reef’s Website

About LFCT

CHILDHOOD CANCER and CHILDHOOD CANCER AWARENESS Little Fighters Cancer Trust is a non-profit Childhood Cancer support organisation that offers support and aid to Children with Cancer and their families. When a child is diagnosed with cancer it affects the whole family. One of the parents, usually the mother, must give up their job to care for the child and this creates financial problems for the family. In South Africa especially the majority of these families are not well-to-do; many of them are rural. A diagnosis of cancer can wipe out any family’s finances, let alone a poor family. The costs of special medications, special diets, hospital stays, transport to and from the hospital or clinic and accommodation and food costs for the mother who spends most of the time at her child’s bedside are astronomical. These are the people and problems that fall through the cracks, and these are the people that Little Fighters Cancer Trust has pledged to help in any way possible. LFCT takes a holistic approach to assisting the Children with Cancer and their Families, with the main aim to be the preservation of individual dignity and pride. Little Fighters Cancer Trust also focuses on promotion and advocacy of National Childhood Cancer Awareness in an effort to increase awareness of Early Warning Signs of Childhood Cancer. This would result in earlier diagnosis, giving the Child with Cancer more of a chance at Treatment and Survival. See "About" for more Background info

Posted on 15 May, 2015, in Blog and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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