The same day a Langley teenager learned he secured a roster spot on his bantam hockey team, he was taken to hospital to deal with shortness of breath that had been plaguing him for a couple of weeks. The diagnosis came back cancer.
Markus Janssens began feeling a shortness of breath, but that wasn’t going to deter him from participating in the Langley Minor Hockey Association (LMHA) Bantam A2 hockey tryouts.
#RivNation our hockey community needs your help.
Markus Janssens, Langley Minor Hockey Player, was recently diagnosed with cancer. The gofundme is to set up to help his family be at his side throughout his treatment.
Please, donate if you can.https://t.co/xqZHOdcCyD
— Langley Rivermen (@LangleyRivermen) September 28, 2019
On the same day the Grade 9 student learned he was selected for the team, his parents took him to the local hospital where he was admitted for what they suspected was pneumonia or a problem with his lungs.
Since then the LMHA started a GoFundMe campaign to help support the family.
Aaron Sproule, president of the association, shared how the family came to learn of the diagnosis in an open letter posted online on Friday.
“Unfortunately, Markus’ condition worsened throughout the course of the week and his lung collapsed,” said Sproule. “He was then transferred to the Vancouver Children’s Hospital where further tests revealed that the shortness of breath Markus was experiencing during try outs was caused by a large cancerous tumour above his heart.”
It was Sept. 18 when the family learned the real cause of the youth’s breathing problems.
“As you can imagine, the excitement Markus felt at the prospect of playing competitive hockey this year vanished with his diagnosis,” said Sproule, in the letter. “And I’m sure we can all appreciate that his family’s sense of normal has also been turned upside down.”
The funds raised will allow the family to focus on his care.
“Annika’s [Markus’ mom] leave of absence from work, combined with the daily hospital commuting and parking costs, has already begun to have a significant financial impact on the Janssens family,” said Sproule.
In less than one week the fundraise page has garnered nearly $25,000.
“Once we win this fight, we will never be the same in a good way and we will definitely be giving back however we can,” Annika wrote on the gofundme page. “I don’t wish this on anyone, but it is a path we will travel with as much joy and humility as we can and Markus will become a very wise man as a result of it.”
Sproule told the Langley Advance Times that Janssens returned home on Friday following treatment, but he doesn’t know if he will be attending school yet because he will be travelling back to Children’s Hospital.
“His battle with cancer will be far from over,” he said. “It’s anticipated that Markus’ cancer treatments will have to continue for a period of two to three years, with the hope that he may be cured.”
For updates on the Janssens’ condition or to make a donation visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/gn22uw-markus-janssens-needs-your-help.