Junaid Arendse is a 5 year old boy who comes from Mitchell’s plain, a suburb based in Cape Town. Six months ago, Junaid became very ill with symptoms of being in a lot of pain and often being unable to walk properly. His parents were uncertain of what was wrong and took him to their local Doctor, but after taking X-Rays, were still left without a clear answer.
Junaid was brought to the Emergency Unit at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital where Doctors performed a very painful Lumbar Puncture on his tiny body – this is when fluid is taken from the spine for analysis in order to make a diagnosis.
The diagnosis revealed that Juniad had Neuroblastoma cancer, whereby a tumour is formed by nerve cells called Neuroblasts. Like other cancers, Neuroblastoma can easily spread, and children diagnosed with this illness are usually under the age of 5 years old. Junaid is currently at the 4th stage of the cancer and is receiving Chemotherapy at the Hospital’s Oncology Unit.
Junaid’s aunt revealed that the most difficult part of the process was first finding out that he had cancer. It was a complete shock as he was a very healthy child.
Even though Junaid and his family are going through the process of chemotherapy and recovery, they remain positive and only have good things to say about the Hospital. Junaids Aunt, Felicia says: “All staff are very nice and friendly, they are very truthful and I really appreciate that. Thank you so much.”