Little (Heini) Heinrich van Straaten has been one of Little Fighters Cancer Trust’s very brave Little Fighters for a few years now – you can read his full story here.

Heini was diagnosed with Epydymoma (malignant) brain cancer on the 12th November 2012, at the age of 3. He was transferred from George Hospital and flown down to the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital in Cape Town. Here he underwent an operation to drain the fluid from his brain, and on the 15th November 2012 he underwent a big brain operation of 8 hours long to remove the growth.

Unfortunately, Heini’s recuperation did not go that well, and he continued to fall a lot and to experience devastating headaches on a daily basis. His eyes were also affected and he underwent an eye operation at the Red Cross Hospital on the 8th of April 2014 due to problems caused by the removal of the brain tumour but still has headaches and problems with his eyes.

Heini has had continuous problems since, including many excruciating headaches and having an epileptic fit virtually every morning. Eventually Lize managed to get him an appointment at the Groote Schuur Brain Tumour Clinic on 28th August and he spent the weekend undergoing various neurological tests; he also had an appointment with a neuro-psychologist.

On 11th September Heini’s Mom got the report back from the doctors, and it was not good 

Heini has another tumour, which cannot be treated with radiation, as the side-effects of previous radiation have caused too much damage. Previous radiation is also responsible for many of his current problems, which include poor sight, balance problems, inability to concentrate, fits and more. According to the doctors, another operation will also not help.

Heini is struggling badly at the moment and is very forgetful; he will do things like pee in a bucket in the kitchen because he is confused and cannot remember where the toilet is; he will need to wear diapers at night for the rest of his life, as damage has influenced his control over bodily functions as well.

He will no longer be able to attend the pre-school; he cannot even hold a pencil or a crayon properly and cannot even write his own name; he cannot remember his mother’s phone number, and his IQ is lower than normal.

Heini will have to travel to Cape Town on a regular basis from now on to receive treatment, as the George hospital is not equipped for his particular case and medical needs. Heini will have to undergo a lot of therapy, which also needs to take place in Cape Town.

Heini also needs to go for occupational therapy on a weekly basis, which is a problem because the therapist at the local government hospital cannot help because she is already overbooked with patients and has no spare appointments or time to help him.

This is not the entire update, as reports are still to come in on various aspects of his recent tests and evaluations, including a full report from the neuro-psychologist.

Heini’s mother, Lize, a widow since his father died at a young age from a massive stroke when Heini was just 1 year and 4 months old, is really struggling, especially since she had to give up work to care for Heini.

Raising a child with cancer is no joke, and it takes an enormous amount of money and specially trained doctors that know what they are doing. Even if one is at a State hospital, there are always all those little extras needed…and now all the extra expenses that are going to be incurred such as the transport to and from Cape Town and the accommodation while they are there is putting a huge amount additional of stress on Lize who herself has just undergone surgery on her eye this week.



The Little Fighters Cancer Trust is a registered NPO with PBO status. This affords private and corporate donors the taxation benefits as set out in Section 18A.

BEE score points are also accumulated.

Trust Reg No: IT2817/2010
NPO No: 089 376
PBO No: 930037657

BBEEE Certificate

Bank Details

Account Holder: Little Fighters Cancer Organization
Bank: FNB Paarl Mall
Account No: 62277783249
Branch code: 250057
Swift code for international donations: FIRNZAJJ
Trust Reg No: IT2817/2010

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