Cancer survivor dreams of becoming a doctor

A 10-year-old boy who survived cancer is optimistic about the future and wants to become a doctor one day to help those who are suffering. 

As Samoa and the world marks World Cancer Day today, Antonio Falaniko shared his story on how the disease affected him, and his gradual recovery after a tumultuous period.

He was diagnosed with leukemia in 2011 but was declared cancer-free in 2014.  

“I feel okay now, when I was sick I couldn’t be like every other normal kid. But now that I am well, I can enjoy a lot of things.

“My hobbies are playing cricket because it is fun and I enjoy it. If I would pick what I want to be in the future, it would be a doctor because I can work to help those who are unwell and I saw how important the work they do when I was sick,” Antonio said, in an interview with the Samoa Observer. 

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Antonio’s mother, Georgina Fraser, said her son underwent a lot of treatment.

“It was not easy to witness your child being unwell, but it was through faith and support from families that kept me strong and I would not give up.

“I only want the best for my son and when he was cleared by the doctors, it was as if God answered my prayers. At the moment we were advised by the doctor to monitor the food he eats and watch out for the sun,” she said. 

Georgina – a mother of five from Satitoa, Aleipata and Satui, Lufilufi – said her son now has the chance to live a normal life and go to school like every other child. 

“I am very grateful that during the time he was sick, he did not show any signs of suffering. But even though he is cured, we have to make sure it stays that way, because in most cases cancer has a way of coming back.

“I want my son to grow old, get married, have his own family, I do not have the heart to lose him, and he’s my baby boy after all,” she added. 

Antonio is currently doing Year 6 at the Lepea Primary School. 

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