Letter from Kerrin Bain – Georgie

As we arrive at the Radiation Oncology  Treatment Centre, Georgia in her glitter slip slops skips past the queue  of waiting patients to the Treatment Control room to hand in her card.  She smiles at the receptionist as she races past and the gaze of the  other patients follow her. What follows for the next 20 minutes while we  wait is an endless stream of cappuccinos being forced down my throat as  Georgia is amazed by the coffee machine and pressing the buttons.  We  read and she tries her hand at knitting (but not for long). When her  turn comes she goes into the treatment room and climbs onto the bed, the  therapists attach the mask that will hold her still for 25 minutes  while she receives her daily dose of radiation to her brain and spine.   Once the treatment is over the therapist gives her a sweet and she  sticks a sticker on her Star Chart, one more down! She races out of the  treatment room, past the never ending line of waiting patients and once  again their gaze follows her as she exits and the door bangs shut behind  her. Tomorrow we will be back and the same routine will be repeated  until all 30 sessions are completed.

Georgia (Age 7) was  diagnosed with a brain tumor in early September this year. Having  already had and lost a child to cancer, the shock and absolute cruelty  of our situation has left Grant and I completely gob-smacked.  Georgia  had the tumor removed on 12 September and has since that time gone from  strength to strength. Unfortunately for her and us, surgery is not the  only treatment she requires, she is currently undergoing radiation and  will then proceed to chemotherapy for a period of 4 to 5 months, all  being well.  However, I am writing this letter not because we need  sympathy, far from it, despite the unfair turn of events, we feel  blessed that we know that in the hands of the Pediatric Oncologists who  look after Georgia at Donald Gordon we have a team of doctors and  professionals that truly are world class and will ensure that she gets  the best treatment possible. Not only that, in the same environment  social workers will assist Georgia and us in dealing with the complex  emotional road ahead.  These dedicated professionals are in place in all  Pediatric Oncology Treatment centres across South Africa, CHOC makes  sure of this. CHOC also ensures that social workers are provided and  that key barriers to treatment are removed from the families by  providing transport to hospitals as well as housing and food for the  duration of treatment. 

Once again as we spend time in the  wards, we are reminded of the strength and innocence of kids fighting  cancer, it’s like a like a breath of fresh air. They don’t consider for a  single moment that they wont win the battle, they give it 100%, they  speak their truth and they love unconditionally.  LOVE LIVING LIFE is  what they practise each and everyday!

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