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I’ve just received an email from a very dear friend of mine who made me aware of a chap called Tom King who lives in Kommetjie. Tom is going to be raising funds for his younger brother’s bone marrow transplant by riding in the upcoming Cape Argus Pick ‘n Pay Cycle Tour.

Tom says:

“I will be riding in group GG number 20 000…. therefore my goal is to raise R20 000.

I am looking for people to sponsor me per km or give donations! There is no amount to small or too big… !

Please email the amount you wish to sponsor / donate  to and we will add it to the sponsor form then send you account info.

If you have any other fundraising idea’s please also let me know. We have at least R400 000 to still raise.

Your help is greatlly appreciated!”

Josh was diagnosed with Burkitt’s Lymphoma on 21 July 2008. Initially the doctors thought it was telescoping of the intestine, instead when they operated a cricket ball sized tumor was found.

Joshua’s treatment has already involved one round of chemotherapy wich consisted of four 6 day treatments, with a 10 to 14 day break between each treatment. Joshua’s first chemotherapy started on 7 August 2008 and ended in december 2008. Regular lumbar punctures are also administered to check cerebral fluid for the disease, and administer preventive chemotherapy. Joshua’s entire lymphatic system has the disease, and it is also in his bone marrow.

Josh had a bone marrow biopsy done on 15 December 2008 and on the 17th we were advised that Josh still has the disease. Therefore the second round of chemo started on 29 December 2008. This round will be much more aggressive, and will be followed by a bone marrow transplant. This round will consist of one week of treatment, and one week off, for a period of three months. There will be a bone marrow biopsy done every month (under general anaesthetic), and regular lumbar punctures. Josh (and everyone else) was initially sadened by the news of the relapse, however we have all had to adjust quickly as there is only one way to approach this – with faith and a positive attitude.

He has been off school since July last year and will probably be off till mid 2009. Because the cancer is so aggressive, it is very amenable to chemotherapy so the prognosis is good. Chemo is administered through a J-Line which was inserted into Joshua’s chest, runs up under the skin, around the colar bone, into the jugular and down to a ventrical close to his heart. This ensures the highly poisonous chemo chemicals are distributed as quickly as possible to all parts of the body.

This J-Line will stay in his chest for two years which means no contact or ball sports during this period. Josh is an avid soccer, cricket, hockey, baseball, scrambling and surfing fan so will have to give these up for a while. He can and still does play golf between chemo sessions, when he feels up to it and recently shot his first “under 100” as well as started scrambling again, with protective gear of course.

Testing for bone marrow donors will begin once Joshua is admitted for treatment on 29 December. We will post information on the CarePages site for all who are interested in being tested as donors.

We have recently registered an email address as well as a website for Josh. The website should be up by end of this week but the email is up and running.