Mom gets heartbreaking news about her 5-year-old son for the second time in three years

By Pieter van Zyl
25 April 2017

There are already 34 possible donors, but according to Melanie their medical aid doesn’t want to pay for the transplant because they say it’s not classified as a prescribed minimum benefit.

“Today is my heartbreak day; we have to go back to the hospital for chemo,” says Melanie Grobler of Pretoria despondently.

Her five-year-old Melti (Melt) Grobler urgently needs a bone marrow transplant, but at the moment is undergoing chemo until it’s possible for the procedure to be done.

Before his second birthday, Melti had been diagnosed with chronic myeloma leukaemia. By the end of 2013, their prayers were answered when doctors found that his cancer was in remission.

Three years later and the blood cancer is back.

Melti also has a contagious bacterial infection which is resistant to most types of antibiotic; which is why they’re at the hospital in Centurion in complete isolation.

“For a five-year-old boy, it feels like a prison. He can only look out the window to see the other kids playing on climbing frames and riding bikes outside. While he has to sit on his bed,” Melanie says sadly.

Her husband, Melt, works as a contractor and has had to take on extra clients to try and cover all their medical expenses.

Melanie was a pharmacist’s assistant but had to resign to spend the 21 days with Melti in hospital. He also has a sister, Kayleigh, who also needs love and attention.

“Melti is so brave,” says Melanie proudly. “He receives the chemo and injections and spends weeks on end in hospital, but he’s a chemo warrior."

PHOTO: Supplied

Melti Grobler was born on 15 October 2011 and on 13 June 2013, he was diagnosed with cancer.

He received intensive chemotherapy and spend eight long weeks in hospital. The treatment took about six months, and by the end of 2013 the cancer was in remission.

On 10 January the little boy had a follow-up visit with his oncologist. Everything was fine and according to his appointment card his next check-up was only next year.

“It was such a relief,” recalls Melanie.

But two days later the doctor called and said something about the blood tests was bothering him; Metli needs to come back to have his bone marrow tested.

“It was our biggest fear,” says Melanie.

The tests indicated CML. At least Melti is old enough to have the bone marrow transplant done.

According to Melanie the medical aid won’t pay for Melti’s bone marrow transplant because he is in remission. “I tried to persuade them. The condition is not as a result of a transplant in remission; it was after chemotherapy. But they don’t want hear anything.”

The family need R150 000 to test the possible donors. “Why is he now being punished because his family members can’t be donors? Me, my husband and our daughter were tested but we weren’t compatible donors. The only hope is another donor. But we don’t have the money.”

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