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Dave’s story

Submitted by Dave’s mom, Patricia Wasserfall

Dave had just finished grade 10 and the holidays had just started. He was 15 years old. It was 1998. He came to me with a problem that he couldn’t pass urine and what should we do. After various tests we discovered that he had a tumour and he had prostate cancer at 15 years old. For two years we took him through to Pretoria to the Little Company of Mary to have chemo and then radiation. He met so many youngsters so much younger than him going through the same trauma.

During that time we tried to make him as comfortable as possible. We would buy new computer games for him to make the time pass. My other son, Colin, took him to Namibia for a holiday and stood by his brother right through the dreadful pain. While at The little Company of Mary they arranged a helicopter ride with Reach for a Dream. It was at Zwartkoppies. He forgot all his pain that day and enjoyed himself so much. Soon after that he went for another session of chemo. Months later he, myself and his stepbrother were taken to Leopard Rock Reserve for a few days donated by Reach for a Dream. The people at the reserve were so kind to Dave and patiently listened to his life story. We took Dave on holiday whenever he was feeling well enough. He loved horses and at Zimbali in KZN he was taken for a few horse rides.

He was so brave for those two years suffering so many problems rushing him off in the middle of the night to various doctors with so many bad affects brought on by the chemo. He had a wonderful doctor at the oncology centre in Pretoria who took such good care of him and I am so thankful to all the people who supported us through that terrible time that our 15 year old son suffered. Towards the end, Hospice in Houghton sent a wonderful nurse to help us.

Looking through my memory box I have from 1998 to 2000 of Dave I have such beautiful cards from family and friends and a diary that David kept that, although sad at times, brings a smile and a tear to my face. He had to grow up so fast. Where other teenagers looked forward to parties and meeting friends and having girlfriends Dave was just too happy to be alive and being pain free and having his mother and brother by his side to sympathise and comfort him through his pain. Having a movie to watch, a book to read and playing his favourite games on the computer.

Dave died in 2000. I think about all the wonderful things that have since happened that he would have enjoyed in his life. My other, Colin, went on to marry and has had two most gorgeous children that Dave would have enjoyed having in his life. My third son moved to Tasmania and had three children. Dave would have loved to have spent time with them. We have six most delightful dogs that would have loved the time with Dave. He had so many adventures to experience. We always think of him when new thing happen in our lives.

“We miss you so much Dave, even though seventeen years have passed you are always with us.”

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Date : 03 Apr 2018

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