Here at the Little Fighters Cancer Trust we deal with the pain and anguish of Childhood Cancer every day. We work with and walk beside our Little Fighters and their Families and follow them on the journey they undergo whilst fighting what many – too many – times, is a losing battle…
Little Euceashe Moos (3) is one of these Little Fighters, and the Moos Family is one of the families with whom we are fortunate enough to work very closely, as they live in Paarl, where our offices are situated (as we work nationally and only have offices in Paarl, we often never get to meet the children/families that we serve).
Euceashe was diagnosed with bladder cancer and treated for it, after which she miraculously went into remission and the whole family breathed a sigh of relief. Unfortunately the cancer returned, and as it does, with a vengeance! When cancer returns there is a good chance that it metastasises (spreads) and this was unfortunately also the case here.
A few weeks ago Euceashe’s mom, Amanda informed us that the doctors had told them that there was nothing more they could do for Euceashe – the best the family could do was just to take her home and make her as comfortable as possible.
While the above is a clinical summation of Euceashe’s case – one that we see too many times, there is nothing clinical about what our Onco Families go through….
A woman has just heard the news that she and her husband are expecting a new addition to the family and they are both extremely excited, as is their daughter who has long been yearning to be a big sister to a little brother or sister…. 9 months down the line and a beautiful cherubic little angel girl is born and the Moos family is ecstatic – Life is good!
Then, just as this little beauty is starting to develop and come into her own, testing out her boundaries and developing her own distinct personality – already the apple of everyone’s eye – she starts feeling unwell and does not get better.
Mommy and daddy start getting very worried as they take their little girl from doctor to doctor and clinic to clinic, not knowing what more to do, as doctors cannot find the source of the problem. Eventually the doctors send Euceashe for more and more tests and the next thing her parents are told is the type of news that NO parent ever wants to hear “Your daughter has Cancer!”
Euceashe was diagnosed with bladder cancer, which is extremely rare in children, and that was the beginning of a journey that shatters lives and families – the battle against Childhood Cancer!
Clinical visits, tests, tears, hospital visits, smiles, medication, long hospital stays, celebrations, more tests, more clinics, more tears, more needles, disappointments, surgery, prayers, chemotherapy, more nurses, more doctors, more long hospital stays, more medication, more everything! This is the life of a family battling cancer!!
Nerves are frayed, emotions run amok, stress reigns, tears flow and prayers are sent up high – when a child is diagnosed with cancer he or she needs a parent to be a full-time carer in and out of hospital – income is halved and the cost of living is increased dramatically even if the child is in a state hospital, as there are loads of extra costs such as more warm clothing suitable for bed/a hospital ward; additional transport costs for all the endless visits to clinics and hospitals; snacks for these days when they are not at home but sitting in cold hospital/clinic rooms all day long; airtime to stay in touch with the family, especially during long stints at the hospital bedside; special nutritious food to tempt the child who is so sick from chemo and suffering from a sore mouth, nausea and lack of appetite; special nappies, walking aids or a wheelchair, and much, much more….
Picture a mother feeling helpless, on her knees, praying that her child will get better even as she sees her losing weight and getting weaker every day…
Picture a father going for a walk so that he can cry where nobody can see him for a daughter that he cannot help, cannot protect against the monster that is ravaging her body…
Picture a big sister who knows that the little sister that she loves and has wanted for so long is wasting away before her eyes every day…
Picture a beautiful little girl who a few months ago was running around and playing with her friends or her beloved dog, being just that little bit mischievous, smiling that beautiful smile, loving life and being loved so much…
… picture that same little girl so weak that she cannot dress herself, too weak to walk, and who weighs about half of what she weighed a mere 6 weeks ago…
Now, picture a family who, when asked what else LFCT could do for them could only think of one thing… they asked whether we could organise to have some nice photos taken so that they would have them as a beautiful memory of their darling child…
CHILDHOOD CANCER SUCKS!!!! CHILDHOOD CANCER IS UNFAIR!!!! CHILDHOOD CANCER IS A REALITY!!!
LFCT’s Program Manager/Social Worker, Lizelma Olivier, put out a request on Facebook for a photographer to take some nice photos of the Moos Family, and Professional Photographer Anida de Bruyn of Anida de Bruyn Photography heard the call and sprang into action.
On Tuesday, Anida collected the family in her bakkie to go to a nice venue to do a family shoot – she was extremely worried as they were driving because it was pouring with rain and she did not want to cancel the shoot – the family was very excited and little Euceashe was not feeling very strong, so she also did not want to make the day any longer than it needed to be.
Always one with a plan, Anida made a phone call to see if she could organise an inside venue if possible – strangely enough though, as soon as they stepped foot outside the vehicle the rain stopped and the sun came out to afford them a wonderful shoot.
Click on photos to see larger images in slideshow view
Anida had this to say:
“Hierdie was een van die moeiliker shoots om te doen… Gister het ek die voorreg gehad om die 3 jarige Euceashe en haar gesin, af te neem”
“This was one of the harder shoots to do… Yesterday I had the privilege of photographing 3-year-old Euceashe and her family ”
Our deepest thanks go out to Anida for graciously giving of her time to make this family’s wish come true, and for taking these absolutely exquisite photos which will become beautiful memories for the Moos Family.
Our deepest gratitude also goes out to Mariki Broodryk van Staden of the Zonnevanger Wedding Venue for providing such a beautiful setting for the shoot.
Lastly but by no means least, thank you to the Moos Family who asked us to share Euceashe’s story so that others could see what Childhood Cancer does.