Only a few short days of Keagan turned 4, he was called home by Our Heavenly Father
We first met Keagan at Dr De Jagers offices during Deqlans treatment, and i will always remember him as the spunky boy who enjoyed flings during chemotherapy. i Was also amazed at his amazing vocabulary when he was so so tiny. His mom and dad where always at his side during treatment and always tried to entertain and be so positive around Keagan
From Keagans Face book webpage: He was diagnosed with Leukemia at 21 months. Since then he has been undergoing chemotherapy regularly. At some stages it had reached a point where he had been in remission, still going for tests though to make sure that this was maintained. His parents and family are and will be forever greatful for all prayers however it has come to this point where these prayers are now more needed than before for this little being! No child deserves to suffer so much pain! I know that deep down God is with him and has been and will always be. He will be turing 4 in the month of June. PLEASE PRAY THAT HE GETS HEALED!!!
07/05/09"After more bloodtests, his white bloodcell count has almost doubled, which means that the cancer has spread. His doctor expects that this will normalise after one or two more treatments, but that's all it is: an expectation and not a guarantee. I am hanging on by hope and faith, by God and His promises in the bible. I choose to believe in God's report and not in the doctor's report, or the report of the blood test. Please, pray for little Keagan."
25/05/09"The past 3 weeks have been absolute turmoil and very distressing, yet at the same time we have received strength from our Almighty God to face the challenges, and we received MIRACLES TOO!!!I'll briefly summarise what has happened in the past few weeks: I mentioned earlier that we had decided to try alternate treatment before going ahead with the stemcell transplant, which is our "last chance". The alternate methods were not successful and on Thursday, 7 May (about 3 weeks ago) we almost lost Keagan. We were informed by another doctor that IPT (insulin potentiation therapy) would be the answer and although Keagan could not be cured, the symptoms could be treated in this way. At the same time we were told that if his white blood cells continued to multiply at the rate that they did at that specific stage, Keagan had a week left to live. After hearing this devastating news, the "new" treatment (IPT) was administered. That was on said Thursday morning. Afterward we went home. Keagan was limp and slept on the way home. Once we arrived home he started to cry incessantly about stomach pain and headaches. At times he would drift off to sleep, but when he awoke the crying - and eventually screaming - would start all over again.I phoned friends and family, asking for them to come to our home to pray for our little boy. Keagan had a pungent smell on him from the treatment. Later that evening, and after everybody had come to pray for him, we rushed him to the hospital. He was in a critical state and his paediatrician feared kidney failure. On Friday morning his doctor told me that it was a miracle that Keagan had "made it" through the night and that his kidneys had suffered no damage. At the time I didn't fully understand what the doctor was saying. 2 days later, we had a discussion with the oncologist (we had obviously decided that IPT and "alternate" treatment was NOT the answer) so Keagan was back with his original doctor who had been treating him since he was diagnosed. He told us that Keagan was "busy dying" on that Thursday evening. Kidney failure seemed inevitable then, and the doctors had feared the worst. Only then did the reality really sink into my mind. Also, the cancer had spread to his liver, kidneys, spleen and a lumbar punch would be done to assess whether it had spread to the brain.The miracle is this: KEAGAN LIVED THROUGH THURSDAY NIGHT, 7 MAY. I know now that if God had wanted to take our son, He would have done so on that evening. Another miracle is that he suffered NO kidney damage whatsoever. The swelling in his abdomen as a result of enlarged organs (kidney, liver and spleen), has also subsided and doctors say that is a good sign. (These organs become enlarged and painful when the cancer has spread to them). Furthermore, Keagan had 99% blasts (cancer cells) throughout his body. Now, after chemotherapy, the blasts are too few to show up on blood tests. The lumbar punch has also yielded negative results, which means there is no cancer in the spinal fluid / brain. At this moment Keagan is in hospital again. His white blood cell count is very low, as well as his immune system. This is due to the chemo, but is a normal occurrence. An infection is being treated, although I await blood test results to prove what kind of infection it might be. He became feverish this afternoon (Sunday) with a temperature of above 38. He is being treated with antibiotics and is stable. A blood platelet transfusion will be given tomorrow (Monday) during the day.It is expected that Keagan will be in complete remission within the next month or two. After that we will be going to the Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town where he will undergo the stemcell transplant. Doctors say he has approximately a 30% success rate. I know and believe that he has 100% chance at success, because he is totally in God's loving hands. He, who loves this little boy more that I ever could.I cannot begin to explain how great our God is. He really listens to our pleas, prayers and He sees our sorrow, pain and tears. It is not His will for these things to happen, but He most definately carries us through the challenging events that happen in our daily lives. So often we pray and plead to God to help us, yet at the same time our thoughts and minds are sometimes distracted by the negativity around us. I have found that the more I pray and try to stay focused on God, the more distractions present themselves. They come in small ways and big ways, but that just makes me pray more fervently, more often, more intensely. Satan will always try to find some way to blind you or to make you loose faith, hope and belief. But he can only do that if you allow him to. I choose to keep my mind, heart and focus on God our creator. He is in control, always has been and always will be. Again I want to thank you all for your continued prayers and thoughts for our son, and also for us as a family. Words cannot express my gratitude. I am so thankful that there are so many kind, loving and caring people who come together in prayer before God, as brothers and sisters in Christ. Thank you for your e-mails, sms's, phone calls, and so forth. You have no idea how much it means to me, and it makes me realise all the more that we are not alone in this situation. Thank you for sharing our burden, and for being there to comfort us in all the ways that each of you do. A million times: THANK YOU!!May God bless each and every single person out there, may He guide you, protect you and keep you safe in the palm of His hand."With all my loveShireen
02/06/09Dear family and friends,"I hope that you are all still doing well? Just some good news I wanted to share with you:I explained sometime earlier that Keagan has to undergo the stemcell transplant - stemcells collected from my baby (Reuben) at birth, should they ever be needed. They were sent to Belgium where they are stored.About 2 weeks ago, Reuben had to undergo blood tests to see whether he would in fact be a suitable donor for Keagan. If not, we would have had to start the search for someone else - BUT - we received the results from our oncologist yesterday afternoon: THE STEMCELLS ARE A 100% MATCH!!!!!! I cry tears of joy and my heart feels as though it wants to jump from my chest with happiness and gratitude. I sighed a huge sigh of relief because even though I had a very strong feeling that they would be compatible, I did not think they would be a 100%!!! But with God ALL THINGS ARE 100%. God does not give half-heartedly, nor does He only give 80 or 90%. He is God our Father, we are His children. As parents we also give our children 100% of ourselves, so how could we ever think that God - who is Almighty - would not do the same for us? Praise our Lord, and all glory be to God.We should be on our way to Cape Town shortly for the stemcell transplant to take place, if by God's mercy Keagan should be in complete remission within the next 2-3 weeks. If Keagan is not in remission, then further chemotherapy will have to be given to try to get him into a state of complete remission (remission means that the cancer cannot be detected any longer). Once that has been achieved, we will go to Cape Town for 9 months as this is the period of time for a stemcell transplant, from the very beginning to the very end. Once we are back home in Pretoria, Keagan will have to go for tests for the rest of his life to ensure that the disease has not returned. So on that note, I have to further put my trust and faith in God so that neither Keagan OR Reuben will ever be attacked by any serious or life-threatening disease. They are in God's healing, loving hands where He loves them more than I ever could.May God bless you all - wonderful people! How blessed my family and I are to have so many people pray for little Keagan, and also for the rest of us. Even though there are so many of you whom I have never met, and who I don't even know, I feel a deep warmth and a Christian love in my heart for you. I hope that maybe one day, I will be able to meet some of you (at least), so that I may give you a big 'thank you' hug."All my love and gratitude:Shireen
Unfortunately Keagan was still not in remission beginning June, so the stem cell transplant could not take place.
He unfortunately got a severe infection and never recovered from it - on the 28th of june, Keagan went to be with Jesus.
I wanted to end this post with the last post Shereen did on her beautiful courageous boy:
31/08/09Dearest friends and familyGood day to you all! I trust that you are all doing well on this bright Monday morning...I have something that I desperately want to share with you all, although there are some family members with whom I have already shared this with verbally. Nevertheless, here it is:The last conversation I had with my little boy, Keagan, before he went into a coma, was on Thursday night 25 June, at 10:00 pm. Both his eyes were swollen shut due to the infection he had, and in truth he had been 'blind' since the previous morning. His eyes could not open, and little did I know that I would never look into his big, beautiful brown eyes again. Keagan and I were lying in his hospital bed. At 10:00 pm he asked me for his 'chippies', and when I asked him what flavour he said "not the ghost-pops". "Salt and vinegar then?", I asked (his other favourite). He said yes, so I reached into the bedside table's drawer and got his chips. As I was opening the packet he groped in the darkness to reach the packet of chips, and I took his little hand and helped him to touch the packet that I was holding in my hand. He said "Show me my chippies", and at first I didn't know what to say to him, how to explain that he could not see. So all I said was "you can't see your chippies because your eyes are swollen shut, my boy. Mommy will help you". I took out one chip and placed it in his hand. He was very shaky and struggled a bit to put it into his mouth, so I took his hand again and helped him to reach his mouth. He had 3 more small bites which I fed him, asked for some colddrink which I gave him, and then he said 'Mmm, that's nice, mmm". That was the last time I ever heard his little voice...The lesson I learned from Keagan - in those few moments - is too precious not to share with you all. It is a lesson I will always remember, and I thank our Almighty God that He inspired the insight I had gained from that incident.As I said above, Keagan's eyes were swollen shut from the infection he had. He never opened his eyes again once they had become shut. He never once asked me "WHY" his eyes were shut, "WHY" he couldn't see, and he never cried because he had gone 'blind' in those last few days. Maybe he was just happy knowing that I was there beside him, as always. In his darkest moments (literally and figuratively) he trusted in me, his mother. Even when he couldn't see his chips, - and the only explanation I offered was "your eyes are swollen shut" -, he trusted me to take his hand and to lead him, to help him, without questioning me, without demanding an explanation. He knew that I would give him what he asked for even though he couldn't see me with his eyes. If I had to explain to Keagan in detail the reason why his eyes were shut, he wouldn't have understood a word of it. He was only 4 years old, and how much medical terminology does a 4-year old understand? Not much I'd say, if anything at all! So I offered the only explanation that his 4-year old mind could understand, and he was content with what I said. I also remembering thinking how mature he was - in many ways - for such a small child.God is our Heavenly Father. We can't see Him with our eyes, but we do know that He is there beside us. Our eyes are often 'swollen shut', and we don't see what lies beyond. We question, we doubt, we become angry or bitter at the things we don't understand. We are often scared, too. Sometimes people are angry at God, other times people start to rebel against what they don't understand. I often say that if God could sit down next to me in person, and explain in detail why all of this had happened, then I doubt if I would really be able to understand any of it (as we humans have limited thinking capacity because we are not almighty). So let's just trust in God while our eyes cannot see, and our minds cannot fully comprehend the things in and of life. Let us allow God to take us by the hand and to lead us. And when we get 'shaky' and we struggle a bit, God will show us the right way, if we allow Him to. We must always remember that God is the 'parent' and we are the 'children' - His children. Most of us are parents and we have children, and you know how much you love your child, right? How much more, then, does He not love us, since He is Almighty.I really hope that today you may gain something from this. Eleanor Roosevelt once said "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams", and that is a lovely saying. But I want to say "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of God".God bless you all.Christian love,Shireen
How brave and how honest, how heartsore, how inspiring. Keagan will always remain in our thoughts and prayers and for you, the rest of his amazing family, God bless and love and support