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Kamloops tyke shows 'amazing strength' in fight for his life

Sawyer Jules is currently in the B.C. Children's Hospital after doctors discovered a brain tumour earlier this month.
Image Credit: Contributed
September 15, 2015 - 2:30 PM

KAMLOOPS - Babies and toddlers cry for all types of reasons, but a Kamloops family is facing a worst case scenario after discovering their child was not crying because of a case of thrush, but rather something much more scary.

At the beginning of September, Shantelle Araneda took 18-month-old Sawyer Jules to the doctor. Her son was throwing up, feverish and displaying normal signs of non-threatening maladies. But a 40-minute seizure triggered a more panicked response and an airlift to the B.C. Children’s Hospital in Vancouver. 

“(The doctor) decided to do the scan and that’s when they thought something was blocking his brain,” Shantelle’s sister Tasha says.

The blockage in Sawyer’s brain turned out to be a tumour, and the cancer has now spread to his spine.

“The cancer started in one spot and it spread in different spots of his brain. It spread to his spine a few days ago,” Tasha says. “His cancer is in stage four. It’s horrible for someone to have to endure something like that, but an innocent child? I just don’t understand it. It’s been a very trying time."

While the news seems to just go from bad to worse, the proud aunt says Sawyer’s spirits remain high.

“He’s the most happy little boy. I would have never known that this was going on with him,” she says. "I would never have guessed that this is what he was feeling. His strength amazes me; he’s definitely someone I look up to."

Because of where the tumour is located and Sawyer’s age, surgeons are unable to surgically remove the mass. Tasha says he’ll be faced with an ‘aggressive’ round of chemotherapy in hopes it will shrink the tumour. Sawyer’s expected to remain in hospital for the next seven months.

“It’s not like we’re alone,” Tasha says. “There are many families going through this. You never think it’s going to happen to you."

While she remains home in Kamloops, Tasha is doing what she can by raising money for Sawyer and his parents, who have relocated to Vancouver. The fund has already acquired $15,000.

“This is all I can do to help take some stress off. I don’t have a magic wand to take this away. This is all I can do to help,” she says.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Glynn Brothen at gbrothen@infonews.ca, or call 250-319-7494. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
InfoTel News Ltd

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