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Parents of boy, 4, with rare cancer pin hopes on experimental ...


Parents of boy, 4, with rare cancer pin hopes on experimental drug

Owen van Vuuren’s treatment has been seriously hampered by Covid-19, but his folks aren’t giving up


Six months ago, Owen van Vuuren was a healthy four-year-old. Then one morning in January he awoke with a squint in his left eye, and later started to lose his balance and have aggressive mood swings.

Owen was diagnosed with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), a rare, highly aggressive and hard-to-treat tumour in the brain stem – and parents Candice Hamman and Carel Jansen van Vuuren said the Covid-19 lockdown played havoc with his treatment.

It was only on the family’s 11th visit to Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital in Johannesburg that Owen had his first session of radiation treatment, Hamman said, adding that the others were bedevilled by problems...

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