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Help John Koolaard fight his cancer, with your prayers and support we can make a difference - Updates - Givealittle

  • Update on John Koolaard's Cancer progression      2 December 2017
    Posted by: Sylvia van Echten

    Update Nov 2017 From John and Antoinette:

    John has continued to feel relatively well and looks pretty healthy but a CT scan, two weeks ago showed growth in the main liver tumours compared to the previous scan so the doctors have stopped the Avastin treatment, saying it has done all it can. Since then the tumours have continued to grow and John is now feeling significant discomfort.

    Despite this we are thankful that the treatments did work for a time and are very grateful for all your generous contributions!

    We have not given up hope. Our future is in the hands of our sovereign God. We trust in our faithful God whatever the outcome is from here on.

    Just to add a small message from Sylvia, who put up this give a little page, I also want to thank you all for your donations and support. Any further support for the family would be very welcome, as they also consider further alternative foods and treatments to maintain John's health and quality of life, which can also be costly.

    Most of all, keep them in your prayers before our Lord.

    Many thanks, Sylvia.

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  • Update on John's progress, October 2017     23 October 2017
    Posted by: Sylvia van Echten

    We want to begin by thanking you so much for your prayers and fantastic support!

    John has now finished his course of chemotherapy that began in June and he has continued to feel relatively well and looks pretty healthy. A CT scan last week showed little change in the main liver tumours compared to the scan in early September although the largest one had grown about 8mm. The tumour marker indicators have shown an increase, and if further blood tests continue to follow this trend then it is likely to mean that the disease is advancing again. The doctors have said that the chemo has done all it can do, so he won’t be having any more. John is continuing to have the (unfunded) antibodies treatment, towards which a lot of generous people contributed since May (THANK YOU SO MUCH!). The money raised has covered the cost of all the treatments so far, and will be sufficient for the next 3 doses as well!

    As we wrote in an earlier update, surgical procedures have been ruled out by the surgeons because the disease is likely not only in the liver and colon, but also in the peritoneum and lymph nodes. Nevertheless, we know for certain that “Our help is in the name of the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.” (Psalm 124:8).

    Whatever the days ahead may bring, we remain thankful to God for keeping John and giving him strength for more than a year since he was first diagnosed. We have experienced many joys and blessings over that time.

    Love from John and Antoinette

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  • Update on John Koolaard's treatment results.      10 August 2017
    Posted by: Sylvia van Echten

    We are sincerely thankful to all who have helped raise funds towards John’s treatment. May God bless you all!

    Good news! There has been a significant improvement in John’s liver situation - and indeed his overall condition - since treatment began! In June the growing tumours in his liver could easily be felt by physical examination. Now, the tumours can hardly be felt and the liver is much more normal-sized. The blood indicators are also heading in the right direction. His tumour markers are decreasing and his immunity and liver function tests are looking much more encouraging.

    We greatly appreciate your support!


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  • Message from John and Antoinette     21 June 2017
    Posted by: Sylvia van Echten

    Firstly thank-you Sylvia and Fred for starting up this page for John. This page is of huge encouragement to us. Thank-you to all who are donating, praying and helping us along this difficult journey! We feel blessed to have so many friends and brothers and sisters in our Lord Jesus who care for us. It is a powerful reminder that we are part of a much larger body of believers! May His Church will be built up in faith and love for one another. We long for everyone to know the true joy that comes from having their sins forgiven and being at peace with our Creator.

    Along with you we are praying that God will preserve John to us for some time yet - by whatever means He chooses.

    In the meantime we live out the journey that is set out for us. Each day of life and strength is a gift, but also a reminder that our days are numbered. John had his second infusion of Irinotecan on Monday and we got to see the oncologist who administers Avastin - the unfunded treatment. Statistically, Avastin combined with the Irinotecan raises the chances of slowing down tumour growth by 10%, on average. Not a huge percentage but then we are working with low percentages already. We are just thankful that God is not limited by statistics! Bell curves have outliers ... and in fact the oncologist said that he has two patient still alive 2 years later. We also got some good news - the first infusion will be free. Successive infusions will be costly –adding up to a potential total near $50,000 if it continues successful in stopping the cancer growth. Fortunately, we will not have to pay this all at once as we should know if the drug is working after a few cycles. We will provide updates as we find out whether or not the treatment is proving effective.

    The oncologist also gave us some less-good news. John’s cancer is a particularly difficult cancer to treat as evidenced by the still very small number of treatments available to him. We learned that the clinical trial we were exploring would be much less likely to be of benefit to John. However, cancer research is taking place in many countries, and many new trials involving immunotherapy drugs and personalized neo-antigen vaccines are underway, although few in NZ. It is an exciting field of medicine, and we will be keeping our eyes open for new developments.

    Thank-you all again for your love and support.

    John and Antoinette


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