Run for cancer patient

Arizona Hoy.

More than 100 cars and 250 people joined a breakfast run, organised on Saturday, by a Diep River woman, in aid of a four-year-old girl fighting a rare form of cancer.

Arizona Hoy, of Fish Hoek, was diagnosed earlier this month with stage-4 neuroblastoma cancer, which most often starts from one of the adrenal glands on top of the kidneys but can also develop in the neck, chest, stomach or spine. Children aged 5 or younger are most commonly affected.

Samantha Hoy, Arizona’s mother, said the symptoms started showing about two months ago.

“She just wasn’t herself, she was tired a lot, she kept on saying her leg was sore.”

Arizona’s parents took her to get X-rays, and the doctors said nothing was wrong and that it was possibly just growing pains.

But the pain in Arizona’s leg persisted and would wake her up at night.

“I noticed that she looked meek and was becoming anaemic. We got a referral to Victoria Hospital and she was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer then.’’

Arizona’s cancer started in the adrenal gland and has spread to her spinal cord, left leg, chest and abdomen.

Ms Hoy said that because the cancer was so rare, it was often only picked up in the later stages.

She has had to stop working to take care of Arizona full time.

Arizona’s courage and positivity throughout had amazed her, she said.

“She’s been amazing, she even smiles at the hospital. This is obviously very scary for her. She’s never been to the hospital this
much, and she doesn’t want to go, but she knows that she has to go.
She knows that she’s sick, but she’s just so positive. She was smiling the whole time even at the run,” she said.

Jodi Currie, 25, who organised the breakfast run has a daughter of her own. Her partner works in the breakdowns industry with Arizona’s father.

After learning of Arizona’s condition two weeks ago, Ms Currie struck on the idea of organising the breakfast run to get everyone they knew together to collect donations for Arizona. She made a poster and sent it out to everyone she knows to support the run, but she said
she hadn’t expected such a big turnout.

“On Saturday never in my life did I think that something I organised would spread and have so many people joining from tow trucks, bikes and car clubs. It was heart-warming. Saturday just proved that it takes a community to raise a child,” Ms Currie said.

They raised R12 000 on the day and gave the money to Arizona and her parents.

“There was no entrance fee as we didn’t want to make people feel forced to donate. We all just met up and went around with a bucket and if people wanted to donate they would donate.”

The run started from the
corner of the Main and De Waal roads in Diep River. Then people drove to Long Beach
Mall in Fish Hoek where they handed over the donations and had a snack.

Ms Hoy said the breakfast run had been bigger than she had expect-
ed.

“There were towing companies all over, bike clubs, car clubs, people I didn’t even know were there. The donations are definitely going to go a long way – the everyday expenses, the chemo. I’m very grate-
ful.”

Arizona has already started chemotherapy and her next treatment is in August. Arizona’s parents are hoping the chemo will shrink the cancer.

To show appreciation to everyone who came to the breakfast run, Ms Currie made 300 cancer ribbons. And Speedy Towing and Compass Towing donated doughnuts, cool drinks and sweets for the participants.

Ms Currie and five others proud-
ly wore T-shirts they had made with Arizona’s face on to show sup-
port.

She apologised for any congestion the event had caused but
said it had all been for a good cause. She thanked everyone who took part.