Mom of 12-year-old’s desperate plea: 'Help before my child dies'

By Kirstin Buick
19 January 2017

“I cried so much... if God is going to punish me, he mustn’t do it by coming to take my children.”

“I cried so much . . . If God is going to punish me, he mustn’t do it by coming to take my children.

"Then the madhouse would be too good for me.”

This is what Lisa Steenberg (30) of Welkom in the Free State told YOU on Wednesday about her 12-year-old daughter, Larochelle, who's in desperate need of a kidney transplant. She has virtually no kidney function left and her mother needs to administer dialysis three times a day to keep her alive.

Lisa earns only R500 a week working at a cash loans establishment. Her husband, Donald (37), earns roughly R8 500 a month as a diesel mechanic.

Lisa Steenberg with her daughters, Nicole (left) and Larochelle (right). PHOTO: Supplied Lisa Steenberg with her daughters, Nicole (left) and Larochelle (right). PHOTO: Supplied

“We have big trouble,” Lisa explained of the family’s crisis situation. Even though Larochelle will apparently get the procedure done at a Johannesburg state hospital, it will still cost the family hundreds of thousands of rands – money which they don’t have, never mind the cost of a private hospital.

Lisa is a matching donor and says she's prepared to give her life for her child. She says Larochelle is a “sassy but loving and caring daughter,” but has been sick all her life.

She says Larochelle was born with a chronic kidney illness, which was only diagnosed in 2015. Lisa explains that by the time doctors delivered the diagnosis on 27 November 2015 she only had five percent function left in both her kidneys. Lisa says her child wouldn’t eat, slept all the time and was pale. Over the years doctors had claimed her tonsils were responsible for her illness. They were then removed in 2015 but still Larochelle grew weaker.

Lisa says it’s heartbreaking to watch her child, a Grade 7 student at Dagbreek Primary School, waste away knowing they don’t have the money to save her. Her sister, Nicole (10), is in Grade 5.

Nicole and Larochelle. PHOTO: Supplied Nicole and Larochelle. PHOTO: Supplied

“She often says she just wants Jesus to take her. She's also tired; her body is tired. It takes a lot for a child to say something like this.”

Anyone who wants to support the Steenberg family can go to the Facebook group ‘Gebeds groupie spesiaall vir Larochelle’.

Find Love!

Men
Women