Brave Junaid enters critical condition
FAMILY and friends are surrounding little cancer fighter, Junaid Arendse at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital as his condition continues to deteriorate rapidly.
About three weeks ago, Junaid, 8, was admitted to hospital with a high temperature and in pain. He has not been able to walk, his eyesight has deteriorated and since this weekend, he has been unable to talk.
His family says he can hear and recognise voices around him.
The Mitchells Plain boy has touched hearts throughout the country in his brave battle against cancer.
In June 2015, doctors gave him just three months to live after he was diagnosed with stage four cancer.
His only hope was expensive treatment not available in state hospitals.
Thanks to donations from readers, friends, supporters and his school, Hazeldene Primary, more than R150 000 was raised for treatment.
Large amounts were donated by high-profile locals including Mayor Patricia de Lille, who donated R25 000 to the family, and comedians Kurt Schoonraad, Marc Lottering, Stuart Taylor and Nik Rabinowitz, who put on a show in aid of Junaid at the Cape Town Comedy Club. They raised R60 000.
However, in February this year Junaid’s family was told he had weeks to live as the cancer had returned.
But he continued to beat the odds, and celebrated his 8th birthday with family, friends and a Spider-Man birthday cake in July.
His grandmother, Margaret Arendse, said yesterday hospital staff recently gave Junaid an award for his bravery.
“The Sunday before the Wednesday (when he was admitted to hospital) he said to me, ‘Ma, I’m going to die’. I said to him ‘no, don’t talk nonsense’. When he told me… I prayed, I said I don’t want him to suffer,” she said.
She said De Lille and Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu both took time out of their schedules to visit him recently.
In April, Junaid’s family was welcomed back to a renovated and wheelchair-friendly home by Sisulu.
After reading about the 7-year-old’s story, Sisulu initiated a special project to renovate the house where he and his grandparents live while they were on a holiday.
Junaid’s grandfather, Leonard Arendse, said lessening Junaid’s pain now was the main concern.
“The pain is more severe, so his medication was increased, just to put him at ease. We must just keep him comfortable and pain free. At the moment, he is not eating well.
“Before he was eating chicken, now he is not even interested in it.
“Yesterday, the doctor told us that we rather come up and have time with him,” he said.
“I’m in shock. He had opened doors and he had touched so many people’s hearts, it’s his personality, that draws other people to him,” he added.
The family thanked the public for their overwhelming support.