Fri | Nov 27, 2015

Fresh start for Sanjeev - Seven-year-old begins primary school after tumour treatment

Published:Friday | November 30, 2012 | 12:00 AM
Jean Williams and her seven-year-old son Sanjeev Johns who was diagnosed with neuroblastoma in August 2011. - FILE

Alessandro Boyd, Gleaner Writer

SANJEEV JOHNS is looking forward to brighter days as he will finally start primary school in January next year after he recently completed radiation therapy last month for neuroblastoma, a malignant tumour that usually occurs in childhood.

Jean Williams was awakened to a bitter reality in August 2011 when she found out that her son had a cancerous tumour larger than 20cm over his right kidney.

Williams' reality was plummeted even further into darkness as she found out that the price for radiation was J$1.2 million. Angels of Love Jamaica (AOLJ), a non-profit charity organisation, intervened and provided the money necessary to complete the radiation.

"Sanjeev is doing great, he has been active, eating food and not complaining, things that were rarely seen during his sickness. He will finally be starting grade one and I am happy because of this. It's been almost two years and he hasn't been able to attend school due to his sickness and the chemotherapy," Williams told The Gleaner.

She added: "I feel great, because he will be able to start school as a normal child. I used to help him read at home and do maths, but now he will be able to do it among other children. I give thanks to Mr Liu (founder of AOLJ) all day long, I always pray for him as, if it wasn't for him and the church, none of this would be possible," she said gleefully.

Despite feelings of elation, Williams is worried that Sanjeev may get injured while playing with other children.


"Two bigger boys were playing at Sanjeev's basic school by pushing the tables back and forth, he was being squeezed in the middle and told them that it hurt and that they should stop, but they were still doing it. The doctor speculated that may have caused internal bleeding, which resulted in the tumour," Williams said.

"Now I worry about the older boys damaging him again, especially due to the fact that he only has one kidney, as they took out the other one during surgery. You know, if that kidney goes bad, then you know it's back to square one," she added.

Williams remains optimistic, however, and believes Sanjeev will go on to live a normal life. Sanjeev, who is now seven years old, will enter grade one at the Pembroke Hall Primary School in January 2013.