This is 10-year-old Little Fighter Brendon, and last week he made a short video for all his supporters to tell them how he was doing and thank them for the support; he first did this in Afrikaans (his home language) but when asked by Mandie if next time he could do one in English for those Little Fighter Supporters who do not understand Afrikaans, he immediately made a second one in English – what a CHAMP!!!
What is more important though, is that he made these videos a short few days after massive surgery to place a Broviac Line as well as open chest surgery to do a biopsy on his thymus.
This is what inspires us about our Little Fighters and keeps us doing what we do – all of these children who are fighting cancer are SO strong and somehow, through it all they all smile most of the time…
Brendon suffered from severe abdominal pain and cramping and was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease in 2016, but his suffering continued as did the doctors visits, various medications, various medical tests, and loads of financial and psychological stress for the whole family.
In February 2017, Brendon landed up in hospital with an ileocecal intussusception, which is when the bowel wall distends and obstructs the lumen. Peristalsis (the process of wavelike muscle contractions of the alimentary tract that moves food along) is disrupted leading to colicky abdominal pain and vomiting. Lymphatic and venous obstruction occurs, causing ischaemia (local anaemia in a given body part sometimes resulting from vasoconstriction, thrombosis or embolism).
Intussusception also cuts off the blood supply to the part of the intestine that’s affected, which can lead to a tear in the bowel (perforation), infection and death of bowel tissue.
A biopsy and histology was done at the same time, and on Monday 27th February, 2017 his parents received the sad news that Brendon had been incorrectly diagnosed last year and does not have Crohns but in actual fact has High grade B-cell Lymphoma Cancer (The B-cell lymphomas are types of lymphoma affecting B cells. B cells, also known as B lymphocytes, are a type of white blood cell that develop from hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) that originate from bone marrow.)
He was admitted to a Paediatric Oncology Ward in Port Elizabeth on 28th February and underwent various tests to ascertain whether the cancer had spread. Fortunately tests showed that it had not, but a CT Scan of his chest showed a thymus gland that the doctors wanted to perform a biopsy on so that they could ensure that he was put on the correct Chemotherapy Treatment – this was done at the same time that a Broviac line was inserted.
A Broviac Line is a is a soft tube that goes underneath the skin and into one of the main veins (superior vena cava) just above the heart so that the chemotherapy drugs can be given intravenously. The child undergoes a small operation under general anaesthetic to put it in. Often, the central line will be put in place while the child is having other tests that require a general anaesthetic. Once in place, it will remain there throughout treatment.
Brendon is now undergoing Chemotherapy treatment and doing well… as you can hear 😀
Brendon, thank you SO much for your lovely videos – Keep on smiling and remember that Team Little Fighters Cancer Trust is right here for you with all 10 000 plus supporters!!!
Once again Brendon’s case reminds us that if one is not happy with a diagnosis or the condition continues, it is best to GET A SECOND OPINION!!! Everyone is well within their rights to seek a second opinion, so if you are not happy, do not let anyone or anything stop you from doing so!!