IN SUPPORT - A fundraising barbecue will be held on July 30th at the Wolf Creek Community Church for Drevan Din, a local boy fighting cancer. facebook photo

Fundraising barbecue set to run this weekend for Drevan Din

Youngster was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma in 2015

A fundraising barbecue will be held on July 30th at the Wolf Creek Community Church for a local boy fighting cancer.

Organized by Chelsea Clark and Andrea Lavigne, the Fundraising BBQ for Drevan Din will run from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Other highlights of the event include a silent auction and bouncy castles.

Little Drevan Din, 3, was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma (cancer of the soft tissue and muscles) in 2015, explained his mom Shanti Din. Since then, Drevan has undergone numerous rounds of chemotherapy and radiation, and the doctors said last November that the cancer was in remission.

But just last month, test results showed that the cancer had returned and Shanti and Drevan are currently back at the Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton where his treatments have resumed.

Meanwhile, Shanti is very thankful for the community support she and her family have received since Drevan was diagnosed. She mentioned Lacombe Ford, which donated winter tires to her and later donated nearly $1,000 in cash to help cover the family’s expenses. “I was literally in tears.”

Domino’s Pizza also held a fundraiser for one week where a dollar from pizzas sold went to supporting Drevan.

Her friend Andrea held a bottle drive in the early part of Drevan’s fight, and she’s doing another one, Shanti said.

Looking back, Shanti first noticed a bump by her son’s right shoulder blade in the fall of 2015.

An official diagnosis was made at the Stollery on Dec. 31st, 2015.

“He spent all of those Christmas holidays in the hospital getting diagnosed,” she recalled, adding he was diagnosed with Stage 4 Rhabdomyosarcoma. “It’s a very rare childhood cancer,” she said, adding it’s a cancer of the muscle and soft tissue. “They started chemotherapy on January 2nd, 2016,” she said. Doctors attacked the cancer aggressively with the chemotherapy.

“It was really strong chemo and he was getting it every week,” she explained.

“He was bedridden for a month – I wasn’t allowed to take him home for two months.” She said the cancer stopped responding to treatment in May of 2016, so the doctors changed the type of chemotherapy they were treating Drevan with.

“They also started with radiation therapy,” she added. “He had six weeks of radiation and continued with chemotherapy, too.”

By last November, he went into surgery to have the rest of the tumour removed and went into a full remission, she said.

As mentioned earlier, last month tests showed a new tumour in the same location where the main tumour was.

In early August, another MRI and CTScan are planned to see where things are at at that time, she said.

Clearly, as mentioned, there are lots of expenses to cover during this time, and organizers are hoping for a terrific turn-out for the upcoming barbecue.

For Shanti, the support she has received from the community is just invaluable. It’s been extremely tough on every level, and helping hands indeed help make a difference. “My mind becomes my own prison sometimes,” she said. “All of these thoughts going through my head – worry about my child.

“Having all of this help from the community has really meant a lot.”

For more information, check out ‘Fundraiser BBQ For Drevan Din’ on facebook. Another page called ‘Drevan’s Fight Against Cancer’ also provides information on how Drevan is doing as well.

mark.weber@reddeerexpress.com