14-year-old Seven Keijlard from Heerhugowaard has died. Three years ago, the tough teenager with cancer said in an interview about his own clothing line: “I still have so many things to do in my life that I don’t have time to die.” He raised more than 10,000 euros for children with cancer. A memorial service will be held on Friday, his family said.
Photo: seven keijlard skating – Seven (14) from Heerhugowaard preferred to skate every day
Seven died on Monday morning in the presence of his relatives. He battled cancer for three years. After a fall from the jungle gym in 2020, the disease was accidentally discovered by doctors.
It’s about a aggressive tumor in his abdomen, near his kidney. Surgery, chemotherapy and radiation follow. In between treatments, 11-year-old Seven starts his own clothing line ’24Seven – No Time To Die’.
With his own designs on shirts, sweaters and face masks, he quickly raises 10,000 euros for Villa Joepa foundation that helps children with cancer.
The treatments are very difficult, but seem successful. Seven is declared ‘clean’ and for a moment he seems to be able to resume his old life. But then, at the end of March 2022, the neuroblastoma returned.
Three years ago we visited the creative and enterprising Seven in his office, where he talked endlessly about his own designs:
video-caption">Seven starts clothing line for cancer research – Priscilla Overbeek / NH News
New examinations, scans and treatments will follow. “In the meantime, the orders just kept going,” says his father Jordy about his son’s clothing line. “Every week he received messages of support via Instagram from people asking how he was doing.”
A year later, the flag is flying again in the Keijlard house: the tumor is gone, Seven is clean. “We did everything during that time. He often met up with friends to skate or hang out in the city. Between chemo we went to New York. And after the last radiation treatment we immediately drove to Austria. Winter sports he liked it the most.”
After the summer holidays, Seven is going back to school, which he is really looking forward to. But when he comes home at the end of his first day of classes, he doesn’t feel well.
“It happened very quickly. He came home with a bit of a headache and was nauseous. The next day he was so bad that we immediately went to the hospital. He was examined there, but they couldn’t find anything.”
There he had a revival again. “He was eating and speaking again, so doctors thought it was something to do with his vestibular system and sent him home.” Just before the weekend things go completely wrong. Seven can barely tolerate the pain. “He was in a fetal position on the couch, so we went to the emergency room in Amsterdam.”
Photo: Seven car – Jordy Keijlard
The doctors think it is a virus and send him home again. Because he is not improving, he is re-examined in the hospital in Utrecht. It turns out that there is a metastasis in his brain and Seven needs surgery.
“The operation went well. Ninety percent could be removed. We were told that healing was no longer possible, but the doctors were hopeful that he would be back to normal after a few weeks of rehabilitation. We were allowed to go home.”
Shortly afterwards, Seven again suffers from severe headaches. A CT scan is made, which shows that he has a brain hemorrhage. “They couldn’t do anything more for him, it was a matter of days or weeks. So all we could do was wait.”
Photo: seven keijlard – “It’s incredible how strong and wise he was”
In the hospital, Seven is given sleeping pills and painkillers. His parents keep watch and watch him slowly sink. “It’s incredible how strong and wise he was. How he dealt with his illness and the pain. At one point he was so fed up with it that he no longer wanted medication,” his father shares.
“In the end he completely collapsed and died the next morning. He would have been 15 years old in December. It feels so unreal that he is no longer there. And above all, very unfair.”
Guard of Honor at Oudorp skate park
Seven will be buried next Friday, September 29. For this purpose, a commemoration with a guard of honor will be held for him at 10 a.m. in the Oudorp skate park.
“We drive by there by car and hope that everyone who knows Seven will be present to pay his last respects. If possible with a skateboard, because that’s what he preferred to do every day.”
His parents now continue the mission he had in his short but powerful life: to eradicate childhood cancer for good. “He was working on new designs, which we will publish. We hope to raise as much money as possible for Villa Joep, the foundation he was committed to.”
Photo: mourning card seven – The tribute to Seven will be held in the skate park of Oudorp
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