In November 2023, young Leonaldo Crouch from Kimberley received a life-changing diagnosis: a soft tissue sarcoma. At just 14 years old, he faced a challenging road ahead. But he wasn’t alone, Leonardo was one of three siblings, and his family rallied around him.

After consulting with the medical team, the decision was made, Leonaldo would undergo radiation and chemotherapy. However, there was a catch. The specialised radiation treatment for children from the Northern Cape was only available in Bloemfontein. So, for a long and emotional 7 weeks, Leonaldo and his family had to relocate to Bloemfontein.

Leonaldo’s little brother, just 10 months old, needed constant care. His mother, Abbenesia, was breastfeeding him, making it impossible for her to leave him behind. Thankfully, CHOC stepped in. CHOC allows children who are breastfeeding to stay with their mothers. Leonaldo, his mother, and his baby brother found refuge at CHOC House Bloemfontein. For those 7 weeks, they became part of a supportive community. Leonaldo bravely endured his chemo and radiation treatments, with his mom and baby brother by his side. Abbenesia shared her relief at being able to care for her baby during this critical time.

“At CHOC House Bloemfontein, we felt the love,” Abbenesia said. “Interacting with other parents, sharing our stories—we knew we weren’t alone. It gave us hope. The staff became like family to us.”

Leonaldo’s journey isn’t over yet. He faces surgery to remove the growth in the coming weeks. We send him our best wishes and hope for a full recovery.

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