Community supports young cancer fighter

JACOB ROBINSON / Simcoe Reformer DELHI –  At first glance, Zayne Braun is a normal two-year-old.The youngster – who will soon turn three – lives just outside of St. Williams and enjoys things like hockey and the popular cartoon Paw Patrol.Despite looking and acting like a typical kid, young Zayne has been forced to deal with far more than any child should.In October 2017, Zayne was diagnosed with retinoblastoma, a type of cancer that often affects young children and develops from the immature cells of a retina.The family has made countless trips to McMaster Children’s Hospital in Hamilton and Sick Kids in Toronto. In December, they travelled south of the border to Houston for treatment.“He’s had lots of procedures,” said Zayne’s mother Tori. “We’re hoping that the one procedure he had in the States will continue to shrink the big (tumour) and we’re going to be good from here on out.”With the family being forced to put thousands of kilometres (and dollars) into fighting cancer, the community has stepped up to help. On Tuesday, Delhi District Secondary School held two early basketball contests in which students could buy out of class for $2. All proceeds went to the family.They’ll also benefit from a concert on Saturday night that will feature DDSS grad Danielle Ward – winner of Norfolk Has Talent 2017. It takes place at the La Salette Community Church beginning at 7 p.m.“It’s phenomenal,” Zayne’s father Steve said of the community support the family has received. “The level of care and concern is amazing – amazing.”Certainly the last 16 months haven’t been the easiest for the Braun family, but through it all, Zayne has kept smiling.“He’s hasn’t complained, he doesn’t show any outward symptoms, he just carries on with his normal life,” Steve said. “He has no pain, he doesn’t deal with any of that kind of stuff. Half the time we wrestle with a symptom that we see – is it something chemo or cancer-related or is it just him being a two-year-old banging into a wall for example? We’re quite amazed at how well he’s doing, his team of doctors is the same way.”Tickets for the upcoming show are $20 in advance, $25 at the door and are available at Dave’s Variety in Zayne Braun, 2, stands with basketball players from both Delhi and Valley Heights during a fundraising event Tuesday at Delhi District Secondary School. Alongside Zayne are DDSS seniors Dylan Wells and Zac Faria and Valley Heights juniors Dave Harder and Ethan Peters.

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