Jandré Van Coller is a three year old boy from Boksburg who has been sick for a very long time, but doctors struggled to diagnose him. On the 29th of May 2019, Jandré has been diagnosed with a rare sub-type of Leukemia, called Early Precursor Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia.
Initially, the doctors explained to his parents that he would need different kinds of chemo, and that the standard chemotherapy protocol aims to get him into remission within the first 33 days (Phase I of chemo). Then, depending on his response, it would be followed by another 6 months of chemo through a port inserted under his skin. The chemo is very intense and dangerous, and could kill Jandre, but high-risk chemo is sometimes necessary. This would then be followed by more chemotherapy… sometimes once a week, sometimes 3 times a week, sometimes 4 of 5. Eventually it would be less frequent, where he would also get oral chemo tablets to take at home.
For 3 years the hospital and the doctor’s rooms across the street will be their home. After some time to absorb the news, his parents were also informed that a slow response is apparently a common feature of his rare subtype of T-cell ALL. The doctors explained that he would definitely need ‘high-risk’ intense chemotherapy for six months, but that he may need more intense, life-threatening chemotherapy even before that to get him into remission.
His parents could, however, avoid some of this chemotherapy if they can find a stem cell match for Jandré, as he could be given a bone marrow transplant. They had Pedrie (Jandré’s six year old brother) tested, as he had the best chance of being a match. After more than a week of waiting, results showed that Pedrie was not a match, but that there are 100 national matches and 3272 international matches. Despite Pedrie not being a match, these donor results make a bone marrow transplant a real possibility for Jandré.
Although there are higher risks associated with a bone marrow transplant from an unrelated donor, this might in fact be a better solution as the actual bone marrow transplant procedure is quite invasive (injections that cause pain and discomfort and blood is taken from a line in the groin area).
Two weeks after the initial diagnosis another bone marrow biopsy was done – and sadly, Jandré’s cancer was not responding as hoped.
A consultation and meeting with a Professor from London who has more experience with this kind of Leukaemia followed, and he strongly suggested that Jandré get a set of chemo that might not be funded by the medical aid as it has not been used in SA before. His parents were told to be proactive and to start raising funds for the above mentioned chemo as it is very costly.
The doctor also informed them that Jandré’s national matches were all 8/8 matches, and he needs a 10/10 match.
Since this discussion, the family have been able to fund enough for Jandré’s chemo with crowdfunding, and Jandré’s last bone marrow biopsy showed complete remission. This, however, means that there will simply not be enough time to get hold of all Jandré’s national matches to get them fully typed in time for his bone marrow transplant. His parents had to make the decision to choose an international bone marrow donor, even though all of the funds required have not been raised yet.
The transplant will take place locally, but the donor will be tested and produced in Germany, and will then be transported to Johannesburg where the transplant will take place.
His parents are in urgent need of funds to cover the transplant, which will take place in October 2019. Please open your heart and support our fundraising initiative for Jandré , together we can make a difference in his life, and give hope to his family.
Follow Jandré Brave on Facebook for live updates on his journey.
Fundraising for Jandré Van Coller
Little Hero Bracelets for Jandré; consisting of gold, mint green and peach wooden beads with crystals – and Awareness-ribbon, Sword, or Shield charm. To place and order, contact the agent in your area or shop online. Alternatively, please consider a donation; any and all donations welcome.
Little Hero BraceletsR35.00
“A Hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.”