Zayn van der Westhuizen has spent the past few weeks undergoing treatment for acute myeloid leukemia.
It was diagnosed on January 13, just hours after Zayn and his wife Jone were sharing news with friends of their second pregnancy. The couple also have a one year old son.
Zayn, visited the doctor after developing a persistent cough.
Blood tests and a chest x-ray lead to a fast diagnosis of leukemia.
“After his x-ray he was still on his way to work, as if nothing was wrong, but the doctor rung him as soon as blood tests came back and told him to go straight to the emergency department,” Jone ´ said, in a post shared to a newly created Givealittle page, Zayn’s ‘AML’ Fight.
Zayn is an aluminum joiner.
“From there everything fast tracked to an AML diagnosis and he was transferred to Christchurch Hospital within hours,” she said.
He started 10 days of chemotherapy treatment on January 18.
Once completed, Zayn will have a month before another 10 day cycle of treatment. There are four cycles of chemotherapy planned.
“What started as a normal day quickly turned to a nightmare and we don’t think life will ever be the same,” Jone said.
Friend Ruby Bowman set up the Givealittle page being shared by others to help the young couple as Zayn goes through treatment in Christchurch. So far more than $6000 has been raised.
“We want to help alleviate some of the financial pressure as a diagnosis of ‘AML’ comes to take over ones strength and joy.
‘‘Your contribution regardless of its size would be gratefully received,” Ruby posted.
“Zayn, Jone and their wee one year old boy Zian are already extremely humbled and overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity of people who have offered support, sent messages and who have prayed and continue to pray for healing,” she said.
Another friend, Sarah Martin, said her “incredible best friend Jone was sharing the exciting news of expecting their second baby with me, only a few short hours later she was having to share the devastating news of her husband and one of our best friends having leukemia.”
“I would be so grateful for anyone who can make a donation towards the day to day costs they will be facing in the coming months and to help alleviate some of their stress,” she said.
“This beautiful family would give anything for anyone and now it’s our turn to give to them when they need it the most.’’