Med­i­cal first leads way as face of re­lay

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AT SUCH a young age, De­han Pre­to­rius has al­ready been through so much – but that isn’t stop­ping the Bund­aberg boy from want­ing to help oth­ers.

Aged 7, he was di­ag­nosed with spin­dle cell sar­coma in his shoul­der, a rare cancer of the con­nec­tive tis­sues in the body.

Ini­tially, doc­tors were un­able to di­ag­nose what type of cancer the young­ster had and sent a biopsy to the US for fur­ther test­ing.

De­han’s mother, Estelle Pre­to­rius, said pathol­o­gists hadn’t tested for the sar­coma as it had never been di­ag­nosed in chil­dren be­fore – mak­ing De­han the youngest per­son to have the dis­ease.

“Treat­ment made De­han quite un­well, and he lost a lot of weight, but he al­ways re­mained pos­i­tive and kept a smile on his face,” Ms Pre­to­rius said.

“He was very close to los­ing his arm, but his pos­i­tive at­ti­tude never wa­vered. His goal was al­ways to get back into play­ing his sports and get­ting fit again.”

In recog­ni­tion of his de­ter­mi­na­tion and pos­i­tive spirit, De­han, now 11, has been named as the 2018 Ju­nior Face of Cancer Coun­cil Queens­land’s Bund­aberg Re­lay For Life, on Au­gust 11 and 12 at the Bund­aberg Recre­ational Precinct.

De­han said he was most look­ing for­ward to sup­port­ing lo­cals af­fected by cancer as the face of the re­lay.

“Cancer is some­thing you don’t wish on any­one, but ev­ery­one can help make a dif­fer­ence,” he said.

As part of his con­tri­bu­tion, De­han is hold­ing a fun-run on Sun­day, June 17 from 8am. It will be held at the Beach Vol­ley­ball Courts, The Es­planade, Innes Park. En­ter at Lo­cals can also reg­is­ter on the day at 8am.

Reg­is­ter for Re­lay For Life at­lay­for­ or by phon­ing 1300 65 65 85.

Photo: Con­trib­uted

SUR­VIVOR: De­han Pre­to­rius was only 7 when he was di­ag­nosed with spin­dle cell sar­coma, a rare cancer of the con­nec­tive tis­sues in the body.

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