We are raising R975000 for Braam's cancer treatment therapy
- By: Braam Papenfus
- Short URL: https://www.backabuddy.co.za/braam-papenfus
In December 2019, my brother Braam who lives in South Africa discovered lumps on his head.
Furthermore, an undetected birth defect has left him needing a kidney transplant in 2006. My mum was the donor. Although the new organ has held out wonderfully, Braam has been on medication ever since to keep his immune system from destroying it.
Unfortunately, the same medication also makes his body less effective than other people's at finding and stopping rogue cells from multiplying and becoming cancerous tumours.
His suspicions about the lumps were soon confirmed: they were stage III nodular malignant melanomas, a form of skin cancer and the deadliest of its kind.
A series of seven aggressive surgical procedures followed in 2020 but failed to stop them from spreading. This left Braam with a choice between even more radical, life-changing strategies to stop the spread to other parts of the body.
Inevitably, each option involves the risk of serious side-effects.
The most viable choice at the moment is immunotherapy, a very expensive treatment that super-charges the immune system to fight cancer. But a stronger immune system also endangers the transplanted kidney. If the body starts rejecting the organ, not only will he need dialysis, but the rejection process itself can be life-threatening.
This treatment will be pioneering in nature as it will be the first time that it is administered to an organ transplant patient in South Africa. If successful, it could pave the way for more widespread use, resulting in lower costs and more people being helped.
Living life to the fullest
Braam has always had a full-throttle approach to life, finding inspirational ways to make the most of every moment. Despite being an organ transplant patient, he has completed both the world's largest open water swimming event (The Midmar Mile)
and the world's largest individually timed cycle race (The Cape Argus Cycling tour), several times.
Braam is full of humour, he never complains and is what you might call a "people magnet". Some photos are included to show what he has been up to during his treatment, including spearfishing within two hours after being released from the hospital.
- Jul 15, 2021 - R 5 000.00
- "Ek bid dat jy God se nabyheid elke dag sal beleef. " - Anonymous
- Jul 15, 2021 - R 22 500.00
- "-" - Anonymous
- Jun 10, 2021 - R 30 000.00
- "Braam, ons druppel in die emmer sal hopelik groot uitkring om jou te seën soos jy ook ander seën" - Vriende van Braam
- May 07, 2021 - R 1 000.00
Ons bly vertrou dat die behandeling positief sal wees" - Hannatjie van Zyl
- Apr 16, 2021 - R 500.00
Sterkte Braam. Ons glo en vertrou saam met jou." - Christie en Karin
- Apr 07, 2021 - R 1 000.00
- "Sterkte vriend! Jy is in ons gebede. Jy is n groot inspirasie vir baie." - Conrad Pienaar
- Apr 07, 2021 - R 1 000.00
- "Alles van die beste vir jou op hierdie pad Braam, ons is saam met jou hoopvol! Dankie vir die inspirasie wat jy vir ons is." - Conrad & Letitia Puenaat
Braam Papenfus Medical Cause
This appeal aims to cover Braam's medical costs to get the most from life with one less thing to worry about. Braam's best chance of survival is the successful use of immunotherapy, but bearing the costs thereof could ruin his finances completely.
The fundraising target covers the costs for the first two years of immunotherapy treatment as currently proposed by his medical team. If his condition changes, the funds will be used to cover such alternative treatments as will be considered.