Shave it off for Rheed

Rheed with younger brother Slade.

Rheed Castle-Pearce, a Grade 7 pupil at Elkanah House, in Sunningdale, is a brave 13-year-old battling cancer. After struggling with what he thought was a groin strain from cricket, Rheed limped because of constant pain in his hip. This became worse after a fall at school and X-rays revealed a tumour in his pelvic region, which had weakened the bone, causing him to fracture his hip bone when he fell.

After five weeks in traction in hospital, two biopsies revealed Rheed had osteosarcoma bone cancer.

This is the most common kind of bone cancer in children and teenagers.

It occurs when the cells that grow new bone form a cancerous tumour and the treatment for it is chemotherapy and surgery.

Rheed had already started chemotherapy before he had surgery to remove the tumour and “bad” bone which will be replaced with a prosthetic hip.

He will then continue with chemotherapy to destroy remaining cancer cells.

Rheed is mentally strong and determined to conquer this battle, said his mom, Tanya Castle-Pearce.

He dreams of being able to play sport again, but won’t be able to for at least the next three to five years.

He has asked his surgeon to find him a “sports” hip for his most important replacement, which will take place when he is 18.

* There will be shavathon, to cover Rheed’s medical costs and tutoring while he is away from school, in the parking lot in front of West Coast Village shopping centre on Saturday July 30, from 9am to 1pm.

“The event is open to anyone who has been affected by cancer and would like to be involved. Visitors will also be spoiled by the Elkanah House Marimba bands who will be performing throughout the morning,” said Ms Castle-Pearce.