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Young cancer warrior has not lost spunk

Sunday, September 27, 2020

THOUGH she is facing more challenges than other children her age, four-year-old Nyla Amira has not lost her spunk and joyful nature.

Nyla, who, at only three years old, was last year diagnosed with stage four Wilms' tumour that metastasised to the lungs, has been strong throughout her journey with chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

Wilms' tumour, or nephroblastoma, according to Mayo Clinic, is a rare kidney cancer that primarily affects children. It is reportedly the most common cancer of the kidneys in children.

In a recent article published in the Jamaica Observer, Dr Michelle Reece-Mills, a paediatric haematologist/oncologist at the University Hospital of the West Indies, said cancer in children is relatively rare, with approximately 300,000 children aged zero to 19 years old diagnosed globally each year. In the United States, 15,780 children between birth and 19 years will be diagnosed with cancer yearly, while in Jamaica, approximately 74 children will be diagnosed with cancer yearly, she said.

Since the onset of the novel coronavirus pandemic, young Nyla has been at home maintaining her health until her next treatment session, which is coming up soon.

The Lions Club of downtown Kingston, which seeks to touch the lives of those in its community who are in need of basic educational, nutritional, health services and treatment, has, since last month, committed to assisting the four-year-old cancer warrior in her fight.

With September being Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, the club says one of its main goals and strategic objectives is to help those affected by childhood cancer survive and thrive by bringing hope through tangible service and support.

The club has so far given young Nyla a tablet for online learning and plans to provide her with monthly care packages that will include healthy foods. The club, which has highlighted her cause on its social media platforms, says it also intends to help with money for medication, as is available.

Before committing to assist Nyla, the club had previously assisted 18-year-old Tyson Clarke, who had lymphatic cancer, with some of his nutritional needs for almost two years. He passed away in May this year.

The Lions Club of downtown Kingston said though Nyla shows a brave face, she struggles to understand why she has to endure frequent clinic visits, hospital stays, testings, and treatments. However, she is adamant in winning her fight with cancer, especially after losing her best friend Adina, seven, to the disease.

“With positive energy and love from many, it will indeed help Nyla to win her fight with Wilms' tumour. Donations in effort of supporting her journey is appreciated through her GoFundMe page. Any support is appreciated, leave her a kind word on her Instagram page @nylawins or donate to her cause at gofundme.com/NylaWins,” the Lions Club urged.