Before we go any further though, please join the Little Fighters Cancer Trust in supporting Shanaya and her Family by downloading the pic on the left and using it as your Profile pic for today and the next few days to show them how much support there is for our little Butterfly Princess.
For those who may not have been following Shanaya’s journey with cancer, histology results on 13th September, 2017 confirmed that she had Stage 4 Ewing Sarcoma, a rare bone cancer. The bottom half of her left humerus had been eaten away; the top part of the left humerus was fractured and there were metastasis in both her lungs.
Shanaya has since undergone intense chemotherapy treatment cycles over the past 6 months, but unfortunately her arm was too damaged and could not be saved and the decision to amputate at the shoulder was made.
And so Shanaya’s Journey with Ewing Sarcoma entered a new phase in 2018.
This would include 2 more intensive cycles of chemo with all the bells and whistles that go with it, major surgery or surgeries, and the possibility of maintenance chemotherapy – but at least the end is in sight…
Mommy and Daddy decided that because our Supergirl Shanaya the First had already slayed the first 4 intensive cycles of chemo and all its side effects like a true warrior princess, she could draw up a “Dream List” of things that she would really like to do, and they would try their best to make them come true.
January started off early with hospital admission number 10 since Shanaya first fell ill in April 2017 – in that short period of ten months, this poor little princess had undergone:
- 10 hospital admissions;
- 8 times in theater;
- Far too many scans, blood tests and doctors appointments;
- 5 months of misdiagnosis and ;
- 5 months of Chemotherapy
And so today we continue with more of Shanaya’s Fight against Ewing Sarcoma…
Ewing sarcoma is the second most common bone cancer in children. It occurs most frequently in the long bones of the legs or arms, the pelvis, chest wall, spine and the skull, but can also begin in the soft tissues and not involve bone.
This disease most often occurs in adolescents, with nearly half of cases arising between the ages of 10 and 20. Ewing sarcoma is somewhat more common in males than in females.
During December 2017, Shanaya’s blood counts took a nosedive, and with a blood platelet count of a mere 18, she was admitted for her first blood transfusion.
Fortunately she was able to go home the next day, so was ecstatic as she hates to be away from her brother Unma with whom she is really close and who she misses terribly when she is in hospital.
Young Shanaya took to her battle with cancer as she does everything else – with a determined smile, even when she was really not feeling well.
Mommy was there with her in the hospital every step of the way, and because Shanaya is Daddy’s Girl, so was her daddy Shane whenever he could be.
Unfortunately, due to the chemotherapy treatments, Shanaya lost her beautiful long hair, but she was not fazed….
“No hair not going to stop me from being the diva princess I am. I am the one ‘n only Shanaya the First!”
So today we continue with Shanaya’s story as promised…
Having no luck in resolving the problem of the swelling and pain in Shanaya’s arm, her worried parents eventually resorted to sending the specialist a photo of her arm on the 5th September, as it was not looking at all normal.
The specialist referred Shanaya to yet another orthopaedic doctor, who ordered more x-rays and advised Shane and Lee-Anne that it looked to him like Shanaya had a bone tumour but told them that he would need to do a biopsy with full histology to confirm it.
On the 7th September, little Shanaya underwent the biopsy, an MRI, a CT-Scan, more X-rays, and various blood tests.
The doctor got the histology results on 13th September, 2017 and they confirmed that she had Stage 4 Ewing Sarcoma, a rare bone cancer. The bottom half of her left humerus had been eaten away; the top part of the left humerus was fractured and there were metastasis in both her lungs.
Shanaya was then referred to the Oncology unit at which she is still being treated.
Most of you, though, do not know the full story, and because it is so important to share the stories of our Little Fighters so that others may learn, and because Shanaya is facing overcoming another massive hurdle very soon, we will be sharing her story and some insights into fighting this Childhood Cancer over the next two weeks….
Thanks to Shanaya’s Family for allowing the Little Fighters Cancer Trust to publish her story in order to create Childhood Cancer Awareness and perhaps offer some insight to other parents who are going through the same battle.
Shanaya was born on the 1st November 2013 to parents Shane and Lee-Anne, and soon melted everyone’s hearts… she was a typical little princess and had a completely uneventful childhood as far as illnesses go, until one night in April 2017…
We just luuurvve our Little Fighters Cancer Trust Representatives – they do SUCH great work and we would not be able to do what we do without our volunteers and LFCT Reps.
Yesterday our Pietermaritzburg Rep, Lauren Hook, did a quick visit to Greys Hospital to bring some joy to all the Little Fighters there and was rewarded with broad smiles and infectious giggles.
Lauren does this regularly once a month and is always cheered by the gratefulness shown by the children as well as the mothers/carers for the little gifts for the kids. There is basically one ward and in it are children of all ages who really get very bored so any games, puzzles etc are always warmly welcomed.
The 4th February each year is World Cancer Day (WCD). The 3 year theme, “We Can. I Can” concludes in 2018, with the focus being on “inspiring healthy communities”.
“We can. I can” explores how everyone – together and individually – can do their part to reduce the global burden of cancer. The campaign outlines actions that communities and individuals can take to save lives by achieving greater equity in cancer care and making fighting cancer a priority at the highest political levels.
World Cancer Day aims to save lives by raising awareness and educating the population about cancer. The day also serves to pressure governments and individuals to take action in order to prevent, treat and control cancers. Cancer is a heterogeneous group of diseases that result from abnormal cell growth and have the potential to spread to other parts of the body.
On February 4, 2000, World Cancer Day was officially established by the Paris Charter at the World Summit Against Cancer for the New Millennium in Paris. The Paris Charter sought to promote research for a cure, prevention, services for patients and support from the global community.
Just as cancer affects everyone in different ways, all people have the power to take various actions to reduce the impact that cancer has on individuals, families and communities.
World Cancer Day is a chance to reflect on what you can do, make a pledge and take action. Whatever you choose to do ‘We can. I can.’ make a difference to the fight against cancer.
Cancer is a disease that knows no boundaries and has, or will,
affect us all either directly or indirectly during our lifetime.
I have just finished reading a few articles on a young cancer patient who got his angel wings on New Year’s Day, and I am ANGRY!!!
I am ANGRY that young Junaid Arendse from Mitchells Plain, who was diagnosed with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma in 2014 passed away at the tender young age of 8, even though he outlived his doctor’s predictions – in June 2015 the doctors gave him 3 months to live.
I am ANGRY that one of our Little Fighters passed away on 12 January before we even had time to register him and offer any help.
I am ANGRY that two more families have to deal with the loss of a young child to a disease that is devastating in so many ways.
I am ANGRY that in other countries the childhood cancer survival rate is between 65% and 98% yet in South Africa the overall survival was calculated to be a mere 52.1%.
I am ANGRY that here at the Little Fighters Cancer Trust, we are not strangers to death from Childhood Cancer… we see it too often every year!
“Child loss is not an event;
It is an indescribable journey of survival”
~ Author Unknown ~
The Little Fighters Cancer Trust functions with a tiny full-time team of 4 and works Nationally with the help of various Volunteers, Ambassadors, Representatives, and some wonderful Corporates too, without whom we could literally not function and do everything that we do.
These are the people who work in the background and about whom most of you do not know, or if you do even know that they exist, have absolutely no idea of exactly how integral they are to the continued existence and functioning of LFCT ~ These are the individuals that are the backbone of an organisation like ours…
We think that it is time that we change this fact, so we will be running a series of articles over the next little while that highlights these integral members of Team LFCT.