When she moved to South Africa in 2007, it wasn’t long before she established herself as one of South Africa’s bubbliest celebs. And she wasn’t hard to miss on the red carpet with the bright, bold fashion she loved.
Yet Jennifer Su, or Jen Su as South Africans got to know her, has been away from the cameras for some time now. The “proudly adopted South African” socialite, as she has called herself, has been focusing on her son, Michael Levin.
Michael was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia T-Cell in 2017 and his 52-year-old mom recently revealed he’d beaten the disease.
“What an incredible day, on so many levels!” she shared on social media. “The biggest surprise was that the doctor @childrensphila has declared Michael cancer-free and today is his LAST DAY of chemo! (sic),” she captioned the video of Michael (15) ringing the victory bell at the hospital.
“After three years of intense treatment, my son has been declared cancer-free and [had] his last day of chemo!” she wrote on Facebook.
Jen who often travels between SA and the US, admits it’s been “a long-fought journey, and there’s still an operation coming up, but he’s getting there, slowly and steadily.”
Jen shared the news of Michael’s diagnosis two years ago. He was studying in China and complained of headaches and ear pain.
“I took him to several ear doctors. They all said he was fine, but I just felt that he wasn’t,” she told IOL News. “He looked pale, ashen, and developed a strange rash on his legs. I took him to the hospital and insisted that he get a blood test.
“And then the doctors delivered the bad news, in Chinese, that he had acute leukemia. I was in total shock.”
The American-born presenter says he was medically airlifted to the United States and rushed by ambulance from the John F Kennedy International Airport in New York to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, which is where he’s been receiving treatment since his diagnosis.
At the time she said doctors had told her to prepare herself “as he might not survive”.
“But I told myself that we got him this far, and he was going to make it. I was alone and so scared, but I had to keep telling myself it was going to be alright.”
Jen, who’s living in the US, reflected on their three-year journey.
“Today is an important day for all of us. On this day three years ago, Michael was airlifted to @childrensphila – today, he is doing incredibly well while we continue the challenge. Thank you to the team of medical professionals, family, and friends who have been with us from Day 1,” she wrote on Instagram.
Jen, who once battled anorexia and bulimia, encouraged people to stay hopeful after sharing her son’s news.
“This is a challenging time for all of us. Stay the course, there is light beyond the darkness. Celebrate the milestones, celebrate life.”