Rheed was diagnosed with an osteosarcoma at only 13 years old, in May 2016.

Rheed was an excellent sportsman and represented his school in grade 4,5,6 and 7 in swimming and athletics for which he was awarded school colours. Rheed captained his rugby team and was a dependable, exciting backline player who represented the A team throughout his school years. His size had no bearing on his passion and valour for this sport. He opened the bowling with lively in-swingers and batted with aggression. His archery skills were often compared to him being of Red Indian descent. His sporting ability and achievements together with his leadership qualities culminated in him being awarded Head of House.


After struggling with what we thought was a groin strain from bowling at cricket followed by a fall whilst ice skating, his pain got worse in his hip, and he developed a limp when walking.

Despite being treated by a physiotherapist for three weeks already, the constant pain just got worse until one day he fell at school and the excruciating pain he experienced led us to getting his hip x-rayed revealing an 8,5cm tumour in his hip region. The tumour had left the bone weak and porous, and, in the fall, he fractured the proximal femur.

After five weeks in traction at Red Cross Children’s Hospital, two biopsies later confirmed every parent’s worst nightmare. Rheed was diagnosed with bone cancer – an osteosarcoma. The shock we felt in that moment, the utter devastation, fear, and panic, is nothing like we have ever felt before.” How could we live without our son?”

His identity, his health, his dreams were all shattered. Yet he came back fighting.

He was a brave 13-year-old teenager who embarked on the biggest challenge and fight he will ever have to face in his life. He adopted the character of David taking on Goliath, Goliath being cancer and he is David- 1 Samuel 17. “I come against you in the name of the Lord God Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel

Rheed was given a treatment plan of four rounds of chemotherapy followed by surgery and more rounds of chemotherapy. Under the guidance of Professor Alan Davidson and his incredible and dedicated team at G1 Red Cross Hospital Rheed started his treatment programme in May 2016.  We were practically living in the hospital with one parent at home with our other son Slade and one parent at hospital completing 24-hour shifts each. Hospital became our home; nurses became our family. No visitors, no contact with anyone outside our hospital bubble. Days were hard, very hard most times. The finishing line felt so far away but no matter how hard our day was, we always found reasons to be grateful.

He underwent 4 rounds of chemotherapy followed by six-hour surgery to remove the tumour and replace the diseased bone with titanium and full hip replacement. Six weeks post-surgery he endured a further 4 rounds of intense chemotherapy. During his final rounds of chemo, he had to learn how to walk again having spent 6 months in a wheelchair. His final cycle of treatment he completed on the 12 January 2017. The giant shadow cast over his life started to recede as he learnt a new “normal” life. He returned to school in January 2017 on crutches to a standing ovation and an award for Strength in Adversity.

Through his beautiful spirit, he has united the student body and taught them how to be strong, determined and to have dignity

Rheed takes every opportunity to share his journey and feels strongly that he can help make a difference to other children who are going through similar experiences. He jumped at the chance and was involved with a new innovative at REDX where they have started their own radio station where children are involved presenting their own programme. He found a way to be a voice and motivate others in similar circumstances. His inner strength, power, resilience, positivity in the face of the worst adversity is a lesson for all of us to behold.


Courtney Chase – Ari’s Cancer foundation:

“I have had the pleasure of knowing Rheed for the past few years after meeting him in the corridors of the Red Cross Childrens’ Hospital in Cape Town as he began his titanic battle against Cancer.

I have witnessed tremendous growth in Rheed over the years as he overcame everything that life threw at him. Rheed’s remarkable attitude and maturity is far above anyone that I have met in his age group and have no doubt he would be an extremely valuable asset to any college he attends.

Rheed is always willing to assist our charity and would always go above and beyond and in 2017 it was my honour to induct Rheed as our inaugural Ari’s Cancer Foundation Ambassador where he, as a young teenager 14 years, confidently delivered an inspirational speech to over three hundred guests at one of our fundraising events.”

Unfortunately, he relapsed in July 2018 where he underwent further surgery removing three of his ribs and a nodule on his right lung. As his chemotherapy had previously not been successful, we opted for holistic treatments post-surgery. A follow up PET scan detected two more ribs with cancer which he had removed in his third surgery. He was due to start radiation and had received his tattoo markers when lab reports could not conclude the presence of cancer. We believe Rheed has been miraculously healed. Rheed has triumphed over more obstacles than most people deal with in a lifetime. He is mentally very strong and throughout this journey has been determined to conquer this battle. We feel incredibly blessed to see Rheed cured and thriving in life!


Cancer may have taken his sporting ability, but he did not allow it to take away his opportunity of achieving his National Senior Certificate. Rheed through sheer determination and dedication has triumphed over real-life challenges, pushed through year by year achieving his grades whilst being home schooled and, being in and out of treatments. He continues striving towards having a future and has a passionate desire to be a motivational speaker where he can share his story and inspire others to never give up and never take life opportunities for granted.

Life is good again and we keep going. No matter what life throws at us, we know that we have got through this and will get through anything. It has brought us closer than most families ever get. Today Rheed is 4 years cancer free!

“I am excited for my future!”