A remarkable Port Hardy boy has turned his illness into an opportunity to help others and raise awareness about childhood cancer.
Myles Janse has glioblastoma multiforme, a rare and difficult to treat brain cancer, said his mom Vicki Janse.
She explained that Myles, 14, was having headaches and was taken to see several health care providers.
“The pediatrician diagnosed a tumour on July 16. Myles had surgery July 17. We were told of the cancer diagnosis July 30 and treatment started Aug. 6,” she said.
“We have been at Ronald McDonald house in Vancouver ever since,” said Vicki, adding they do come home on weekends with Angel Flight.
“Hans (her husband) and I have been taking turns caring for Myles in Vancouver,” said Vicki.
Myles has three younger siblings, Willem and Lucinda who turned 12 Sept. 12 and Duncan who is 10.
Myles’ last radiation treatment will be Sept. 22. He will have a five-week break and then chemotherapy will start again.
Myles, a Grade 9 student at Port Hardy Secondary School, plays hockey and referees and is planning on continuing to referee and mentor younger teams this year.
A gofundme account has been set up for the Janse family to help with expenses.
Myles recently donated $1,470.03 to the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation for Dr. Douglas Cochrane’s neuro surgical program.
This money was raised mostly through a head-shaving event held during Filomi Days in Port Hardy.
Myles will be honoured at the Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock stop at the Port Hardy Chamber of Commerce Sept. 20 at 11:30 a.m.
In addition to having the opportunity to meet the riders, there will be head shaves, DJ Jamie Keamo, food and more.
September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
Childhood cancer facts according to the Canadian Cancer Society:
• There are about 10,000 children living with cancer in Canada today;
• Each year, about 1,500 cases are diagnosed;
• Because of advances in therapy, 78 per cent of these children will survive five years beyond their initial treatment, an increase of almost 46 per cent since the 1960s;
• In the early 1950s, less than 10 per cent of childhood cancer patients could be cured;
• Leukemias, tumours of the brain, nervous/lymphatic system, kidneys, bones and muscles are the most common childhood cancers;
• In Canada, childhood cancer remains responsible for more deaths from one year through adolescence than any other disease;
• Leukemia is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in children, comprising some 30 per cent of the total new cases diagnosed each year.