#Johannesburg: Shanaya Govender is a 5yo child, battling a rare form of cancer known as Ewing’s Sarcoma since she was 3 years old.
It was on the Tamil New Year (14 April 2017) that she became ill, waking up in the middle of the night screaming with pain in her left arm and a fever of 41 degrees.
After being seen by an orthopeadic specialist, she was diagnosed with Osteomylitis. This led to 6 theatre visits, countless tests and scans by numerous specialists and her arm persisted to swell to more than 3 times its original size.
Reality sets in for Shanaya’s parents as the diagnosis is made
In September 2017, after 6 months of being operated on and misdiagnosed, her parents received the life-changing news.
“I’m so sorry but your child does not have an infection. She has a rare type of cancer called Ewing’s Sarcoma. Unfortunately, it is stage four and has spread to both her lungs”, as parents, my husband, Shane and I just sat frozen listening to what we thought was a bad dream.
After Shanaya received her diagnosis, regular blood transfusions and aggressive chemotherapy followed. Unfortunately, due to the massive size of her tumour, Shanaya was not a suitable candidate for limb salvage surgery and her left arm was amputated from the shoulder on the 2 March 2018.
Shanaya was finally on the road to recovery after she lost her arm, but in July 2018, the family learned the troubling news that Shanaya’s cancer had resurfaced and spread to multiple spots her legs and her pelvis.
Shanaya started limping and underwent high radiation to her left leg and left side pelvis. In December last year both her eyes started swelling and scans revealed cancer cells behind her left sinus cavity and Shanaya had to undergo radiation for the third time in a year.
To date, Shanaya has been in and out of hospital approximately 26 times and has been unable to attend school since April 2017.
Shanaya has been unable to walk since July 2018. With her condition worsening, mom Lee-ann Govender had no choice but to abandoned her career and give Shanaya the full care and support she needs, as a result, the family was forced to downscale their lifestyle and survive as a one income household.
In order to support the family through this time, a BackaBuddy campaign has been set up to help the Govenders with their normal expenses, as well as additional medical expenses they may incur.
“We don’t know what the future holds for her as this is the fourth chemotherapy treatment plan she is on so we live each day as it comes. The world of childhood cancer is scary and we never wish it upon anyone but it’s a reality that so many parents have to face. We hope the public will continue to support our BackaBuddy campaign and keep Shanaya in their prayers as she continues her fight,” says Lee-Ann.
“Regardless of her severe pain, disability or circumstances, this princess always wakes up smiling, ever ready to dress up and pose. Her positivity, fight and determination has given us strength as her parents to fight this fight with her.”
With this campaign the family hopes to raise funds to help cover the following expenses:
- A house bond
- Electricity household expenses
- Petrol to and from hospital
- Supplements and medical expenses not covered by our medical aid
- Special dietary requirements
- Special cleaning materials
We don’t know what the future holds for her as this is the 4th chemotherapy treatment plan she is on so we live each day as it comes. The world of childhood cancer is scary and we never wish it upon anyone but it’s a reality that so many parents have to face, but regardless of her severe pain, disability or circumstances, this princess always wakes up smiling.Shanaya’s parents
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