As a seasoned ER and OB nurse, I’ve shared in both the joy and heartaches of parents fighting to save their child from devastating trauma, illness or the dreaded “C” word, yes cancer!
When it hits close to home, such as a family member, let alone a beautiful 3 year old little diva, there is nothing in this world you want more - a “Kure” for this dreaded “C”!!!
“Kure for Katelyn “ GoFundMe campaign funds is to help cover the medical expenses associated with the treatment Katelyn will get in the USA since it’s not available at home. Her parents provide her story as follows:
On 9 November 2017, just two months after Katelyn’s third birthday, she had extensive surgery to remove a brain tumour. She was subsequently diagnosed withGrade 4 Central Nervous System EmbryonalNeuroblastoma. On 4 December 2017 she started a chemo therapy protocol.
Katelyn is currently being treated at the Unitas Hospital Paediatric Oncology Unit in Pretoria. Unitas Hospital is one of only 4 private hospitals in South Africa which has a paediatric oncology unit, and also services Namibia and Botswana. Apparently, Katelyn is only the second recorded case in South Africa of this kind of brain tumour and her doctors have told us that they have very little to no experience in treating this type of cancer. They have sought advice and guidance from paediatric oncologists overseas and are following a treatment plan received from them.
We have also been told that although it’s a rare cancer, with the correct treatment, it’s curable. Katelyn will need radiation which can only be done once she is 6 years old. Doctors are also of the opinion that the best radiation for her would be proton beam therapy. Proton beam therapy can be administered to children under the age of 6 and is far less dangerous and damaging to a growing child’s brain and body than regular radiation and chemo therapy. It is a targeted process which has been used successfully in a number of hospitals overseas.
If we can get Katelyn overseas for this treatment it means she need not be subjected to the ravishing effects of chemo therapy any longer. Proton beam therapy is not available in South Africa and according to Katelyn’s oncologists, because it is a very expensive process, it is not likely to be available in South Africa any time in the foreseeable future. We have beenadvised to seek options overseas.
We face several challenges in South Africa. Due to lack of funds and infrastructure, medical options for paediatric oncology are extremely limited. Katelyn’s immune system is already severely compromised due to aggressive chemo treatments and we find ourselves having to spend more and more time in a place which, at times, causes more harm than healing.
With the assistance of Katelyn’s oncologists, we have approached paediatric hospitals overseas which have successfully treated children using proton beam therapy. Medical treatment and expertise are extremely costly. We have started fundraising and hope to be able to take Katelyn overseas within the next few months.
Even though it’s been a tough and tumultuous journey so far we are persevering to stay positive and strong for a little girl who has been extremely brave. Thank you for wanting to be part of our journey. We are deeply grateful.
Nick and Shannon
All packed! ❤️