Photo Credit: Melissa Da Silva

Zoey Da Silva has started treatment in South Africa to fight her ALL cancer relapse and has 28 days of fighting strong, the first 5 days have gone well!


Johannesburg, South Africa (26 May 2023) – Zoey Da Silva is currently a week into her treatment at the Wits Donald Gordon Medical Centre. This new treatment plan is going to last 28 days and is thankfully, based here in South Africa.

Earlier this year we shared the heartbreaking news that Zoey Da Silva had relapsed after a lengthy battle against Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL) and a year in remission. Initially her friends and family had been rallying to raise the funds needed for her to do a specialised treatment overseas.

Zoey was diagnosed on 31 Dec 2020 with ALL at the age of seven. Her mother Melissa created a page called The Zoey Grace Fund where she raised awareness, rallied for blood and bone marrow donors and shared updates about Zoey’s progress.

Zoey’s story has inspired thousands and since her relapse, Melissa has been overcome by the support being sent via the community.

Her latest treatment plan is going well. It took around 3 additional weeks for the medical aid to approve her treatment but thankfully, it has been and she is now a week into her IV treatment. It is far less in invasive than standard chemotherapy. After a week of being monitored in hospital, Zoey will hopefully be able to do the remainder of her treatment at home.

Mom Melissa shared that Zoey is getting a little frustrated being stuck in hospital but all is going well.

“She’s had one fever which is a perfectly normal reaction to the new meds and not necessarily a sign of infection – it broke quickly and she’s been fever-free for a day or 2 now. She has had some vomiting but her doctor has narrowed this down to gastritis due to the increased steroids she’s getting so this has been treated and should be sorted soon.

Other than that, physically, she’s doing great! Yay! and touch wood, it stays this way so we can continue treatment at home.

The downside is that she is understandably SO over being in hospital and coupled with the steroid, is pretty grumpy and emotional – I mean, who wouldn’t be really. It also doesn’t help that this treatment runs continuously, one bag after the next, X 14 bags, for 28 days, with no breaks in between so she’s even more restricted than she’s been before. Thankfully her Dr allowed a quick 45 mins today for a bit of outside play time and a semi-proper shower barring we can’t get her arm wet because of the new line”

There has been some good news regarding Zoey’s donor chimerism, it has been stable at 95% despite a rise in her cancer cells.

“We also got the results back from her recent bone marrow and although her cancer cells have increased from 10% to 25%, this is still a very decent range considering how quickly it spread the last time and that she’s been off chemo for over a month. Her chimerism (ratio of donor cells vs old cells) has also remained stable at 95% which is fantastic. So all in all, this is still a very good sign that she is within the right range for this treatment to do the things”

You can follow her journey via Facebook here.

Sources: Zoey Grace Fund
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About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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