We feel very privileged to have the involvement of our local survivors, Kamva Mabuto and Morne Julyan.
KAMVA TALKING TO THE PARENTS
Kamva Mabuto, is presently studying Sports Science at UJ has returned to East London to do his practical for a few months. It has been wonderful to have him spend time in the ward motivating and inspiring parents and patients. He certainly is a beacon of hope for all after being diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and now, 7 years later is an active, motivated sports science student.
Morne Julyan is a fit and healthy survivor and is an inspiration to children with cancer and their families. He will be running his 2nd Comrades Marathon this year and this time he has joined the CHOC COWS and will be raising funds for CHOC.
Below is his story:
My name is Morne. I live in East London South Africa. My cancer journey began in 2006 when I had no appetite, pale skin, and lumps in my neck. I always felt tired and was woken up by leg pains every night for months. I had inter house athletics (my favourite time of the year at school) where I participated in all field events, even shot put and discus - hahaha! But it was then that I discovered there was something wrong with me. I decided to see my doctor who could not determine my condition so he did some blood tests.
The next day I went to school and I was sitting in class when the intercom called out "Morne Julyan, your parents are here to fetch you" (My gut told me it was bad news). I went to the car and I saw my tog bag in the boot and then headed to my new home – The Frere Hospital. I had a smile and was ready for my new adventure. I then sat down in Dr Mark Painter's office and he told my parents that I had been diagnosed with T-cell acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia. I went for scans, x-rays, blood tests, bone marrow fluid tests and started right away with Chemo Therapy the same day.
I Still remember the 1st machine I went through called the CT-scan, that machine was awesome, I even told the monitor lady "this looks like a space craft type of machine" hahaha! While on CHEMO, my hair started falling out and I still remember my mom saying “I’ll cut it for you Morne” and I responded "Ek wil dit self sny mamma” - I even used a razor blade and put Vaseline on my head after it was shaven to make it "nice and shiny". People said I looked like KOJAK. I also went through radiation for a time. Now that was pretty cool, lying on a bed strapped in, a mask on your face and radiation particles falling on you (they looked like stars for me at that time).
My hair fell out a second time but I was used to it. I did not go to school for the whole of 2006 as I was always in hospital and I was at high risk of picking up infections, but that didn't put me down cause I was blessed with the best twin brother ever Marius, older brother, mom, dad and great friends. Marius helped me throughout the year with homework as he was attending class for me hahaha! I wrote my tests at school outside the principal’s office and in 2007 I was accepted for Grade7 and I went to school 80% of the time. I did not do any sport from 2006 to 2007 as I got bruised very easily. In 2008 I came back with a bang on the athletics track and continued being active for my time at high school, and that's where I get the passion for running today.
I have been in remission for nearly 10 years now, but still go back for my routine check-ups and thankfully everything is 100%, I'm just aging! My passion is running and I have decided to do my 2nd COMRADES MARATHON 2017 for CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation and will be running in the COW running kit. I have a GIVENGAIN account and if you would like to support me and get involved please go to the GIVENGAIN website and type in my name & surname and follow the instructions or you can click on this link - https://www.givengain.com/activist/181040/ it will take you to my account. Thanks very much, your support will be highly appreciated!