Solar Rays of Hope: National Lotteries Commission South Africa lights up the CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation SA’s Home.

We are proud to announce a significant stride in our mission to make a difference: CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation SA continues to embark on our renewable energy project for all our accommodation facilities. With unwavering dedication, we’re reducing our carbon footprint and illuminating the path toward a greener future.

A Home Away from Home

Situated close to specialised Paediatric Oncology Units, our accommodation facilities serve as a comforting refuge for children and teenagers undergoing treatment for childhood cancer or life-threatening blood disorders. These houses are more than just buildings; they are a home-away-from-home  to our families. Here, families find solace, support, and access to critical healthcare services that might otherwise be out of reach due to geographical or financial constraints.

Healing in a Therapeutic Environment

Within these walls, hope thrives. The therapeutic environment of CHOC houses fosters resilience and positivity during the challenging cancer journey. Patients and their parents or caregivers maintain a hopeful outlook, bolstered by the knowledge that they are not alone. Nutritious meals sustain them, and transportation to and from hospitals ensures access to vital treatments.  Lynette Muthuray “The installation of the solar systems at both CHOC Houses has made a tremendous difference in the day-to-day operations at the CHOC Houses.  Families who use medication that needs to be refrigerated are relieved as the electrical appliances remain on. The House staff does not need to charge lights but instead they can focus on the well – being of the families. Overall, it assists with the smooth running of the CHOC Houses”.

Solar Rays of Change

Thanks to the remarkable funding from the National Lotteries Commission (NLC) our Plumstead and Sybrand Park CHOC Houses have received solar valued at R446,000. This funding is more than just an investment in infrastructure; it’s an investment in hope, health, and well-being. Furthermore, it enables us to effectively deliver on our programs maintaining hygiene, safety, and nutritional care, reducing fears and anxieties experienced by beneficiaries during load-shedding.

Hedley Lewis, CHOC CEO expressed how grateful we are for the funds received and how we can start to filter the “going green” theme throughout CHOC. Hedley Lewis says “The money which will be saved from this system will be utilised within the house, bringing down our monthly running costs.” 

Together, We Shine Brighter

As we celebrate this milestone, we extend our heartfelt gratitude to National Lotteries Commission South Africa. Your commitment to our cause fuels our determination to create a brighter, healthier future for every child battling cancer.

Join us on this solar journey. Together, we can light up lives, one sunbeam at a time.

SILUAN’S Early Warning Signs of Childhood Cancer

Cancer is a term that encompasses over 100 different diseases characterised by the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells. This can occur in various organs and tissues, including but not limited to the lungs, colon, breast, skin, bones, and nerves.

Detecting cancer early significantly improves survival rates. More than 50% of people diagnosed with cancer live for over 5 years, and some types of cancer have survival rates as high as 90%. Early diagnosis is crucial because early-stage cancer is more responsive to treatment and less likely to be fatal.

Siluan’s Early Warning Signs of Childhood Cancer

At CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation South Africa, we emphasise the importance of recognising the early warning signs of childhood cancer. We use Siluan’s Early Warning Signs to raise awareness and promote early diagnosis:

  • S – Seek medical help early for ongoing symptoms
  • I – White spot in the eye, new squint, sudden blindness or bulging eyeball.
  • L – Lump on the stomach, pelvis, head, arms, legs, testicle, or glands
  • U – Unexplained fever present for over two weeks, weight loss, fatigue, pale appearance, easy bruising, and bleeding
  • A – Aching bones, joints, back, and easy fractures
  • N – Neurological signs, a change in walk, balance or speech, regression, continuous headaches with/without vomiting, and an enlarged head
Recognising Cancer-Related Symptoms

It’s essential to be vigilant for signs and symptoms that could indicate childhood cancer. These may include:

  • Aching bones, joints, back, and easy fractures
  • Unexplained lumps, bumps, or swelling.
  • Significant weight loss
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Persistent headaches
  • Prolonged fever
  • Eye abnormalities such as a white spot, new squint, sudden blindness, or a bulging eyeball
  • Changes in walking, balance, speech, or an enlarging head

While these symptoms can be subtle or easily attributed to other causes, it’s important to consult a doctor if they persist or worsen.

Taking Action

At CHOC, we advocate the importance of early cancer detection. If you notice any of these symptoms in a child or teen, seek professional medical help promptly. Early detection of cancer saves lives in both children and teens.

Learn More

To learn more about Siluan’s Early Warning Signs of Childhood Cancer and how CHOC supports children and teens with cancer and life-threatening blood disorders, click here. If you suspect a child may be showing symptoms of childhood cancer, refer them to our patient referral pathways at CHOC Patient Referral Pathways. For immediate assistance, contact the CHOC helpline at 0800 333 555.

Remember, early detection can make a significant difference in the outcome of childhood cancer. Together, we can raise awareness and save lives.

International Childhood Cancer Awareness Day

JOINT MEDIA STATEMENT

To: Editors & Health Journalists
Issued by: National Department of Health
Date: Thursday, 15 February 2024

International Childhood Cancer Awareness Day – 15 February

Pretoria: The National Department of Health (NDoH) urges health care workers and communities to be aware of the SILUAN warning signs for childhood cancer. This will allow for early detection and effective management of childhood cancers which will result in better outcomes.

Approximately 400 000 children and adolescents are diagnosed with cancer annually. The South African children’s Tumour Registry reports 1000 new children and adolescents with cancer annually,  but many are missed and do not receive treatment.

Parents, educators, general practitioners and paediatricians play a crucial role in early detection of childhood cancers. It is important to know the early signs of childhood cancers which include a white spot in the eye or sudden blindness; lump on any place on the body mostly in the abdomen, neck and limbs; unexplained fever or weight loss; aching bones and easy fractures; and a change in behaviour, gait, headaches and regression in milestones.

The country joins the global community to commemorate International Childhood Cancer Day to raise awareness about childhood cancers and to express support for children and adolescents living with cancer, the survivors, and their families. The common childhood cancers in South Africa are leukaemia, lymphoma, brain tumours, eye and kidney tumours.

The International Childhood Cancer Day is observed on the 15th of February annually to highlight the vital role of community engagement and support in addressing the complexities associated with childhood and adolescent cancer.

The NDoH in collaboration with the South African Association of Paediatric Haematology of Oncology (SAAPHO), WHO and CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation SA acknowledge and commend the significant contributions made towards the care of children and adolescents with cancer by various stakeholders, including the medical community, civil society, parent groups, non-governmental organisations and individual members of our society.

Hedley Lewis, CHOC CEO has said, “these contributions provide crucial support to children and adolescents with cancer, survivors, and their families. Cancer impacts negatively on siblings and other family members. The challenges faced by these families extend beyond medical treatment, encompassing emotional, physical and social, financial, educational, and long-term health effects”.

According to Professor Gita Naidu, chair of South African Association of Paediatric Haematology Oncology, there is a need to raise primary health care and community

awareness of the SILUAN Early Warning Signs of childhood cancers especially amongst parents, caregivers and educators.

Early diagnosis and swift referral to treating centres is imperative to improve the outcomes of this dreaded disease. Childhood cancer is curable, but only if diagnosed and treated timeously”. Cancer care includes early diagnosis, the availability of diagnostics and therapeutics, supportive, long-term follow-up, quality of life and palliative care.

The WHO Global Initiative for Childhood Cancer (GICC) was launched in September 2018 with the aim of improving the global overall survival to 60% by 2030 and to allow these children and adolescents to live and die without pain and suffering. South Africa remains committed to focusing on childhood cancer and is aligned with the WHO-GICC goals.

SAAPHO and CHOC are hosting SIOP Africa in Johannesburg from 4-8 June 2024, and this will create an opportunity to share knowledge, foster collaborate, engage with stakeholders nationally, on the continent and globally with the aim of improving the lives of children and adolescents with cancer.

Flip Flop Day – Friday, 23 February 2024

The inconceivable diagnosis of childhood cancer should not be a challenge that any parent should ever have to face. But unfortunately, it is a reality that many families across South Africa have had to come to terms with on a daily basis. These families are facing a reality like no other, one that no one should have to face however, these brave children and teenagers, along with their families never have to stand alone.

Owami, a brave 6-year-old boy was diagnosed with leukaemia last year. His parents were devastated when they heard the news but found solace in the fact that they weren’t alone. CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation South Africa provided them with the emotional and practical support they needed to get through this difficult time. From the moment they received the diagnosis, CHOC was there to offer a helping hand, providing them with essential CHOC Carebags, nutritional food support, transport assistance, psychosocial support and even accommodation when they needed it most.

Owami’s parents were amazed by the level of care and support they received from CHOC. They felt like they were part of a family, and that made all the difference. Owami is still going through the childhood cancer journey, but he’s not alone. CHOC is there every step of the way, providing him with the support he needs to keep going.

Annually Flippie arrives in February, and we need to encourage South Africans to wear their flip flops, make a donation by purchasing a Flip Flop Day sticker for R10 and wear your sticker on Flip Flop Day which is Friday, 23rd February 2024. This will help support children like Owami and their families. So, let’s show our support for these brave children and teenagers and wear our soles with pride!

Flippie, South Africa’s favourite and most well-loved CHOC SOLE-dier has a serious passion for compassion and has stepped up to lead the movement to get everyone from the seaside to the city – to show their support for these fearless children and teenagers.

CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation South Africa is a registered and internationally recognised Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) whose aim is to provide life-changing and all-embracing support programmes to both the child or teenager and their families once a diagnosis has been given. Our services provide emotional support through the cancer journey, as well as palliative, end-of-life care and bereavement support. We also offer practical support for patients and families, including essential CHOC Carebags, nutritional food support, bereavement support, accommodation, transport to and from treatments, and our Educational and Awareness Programme on the Siluan Early Warning Signs of Childhood Cancer.

Hedley Lewis, CHOC CEO, emphasises the impact of just one sticker, stating, “Your donation will make a significant difference in the lives of these young ones and their families. By contributing just R10, you assist CHOC in funding their Core Programmes and extend hope, solidarity, and support to those diagnosed with childhood cancer”. Hedley further highlights, “At any one time, CHOC can have around 1500 children and teenagers in our care. Show your heart by wearing your soles! From classrooms to boardrooms, support us to support them for only R10.”

Flip Flop Day is now in its 5th year! Join us on Friday, 23rd February for Flip Flop Day 2024. Partnered for greatness, you can get your sticker for only R10 at your nearest PNA, Tekkie Town, or by visiting www.choc.org.za alternatively popping into your nearest CHOC Regional Office.

Are you ready to join in? Let’s flip for CHOC!
#FlipFlopDay
#FlipFlopDay2024

Childhood Cancer Awareness Month: 01- 31 September

JOINT MEDIA STATEMENT

To:                  Editors & Health Journalists
Issued by:      National Department of Health
Date:              Wednesday, 06 September 2023

Pretoria: The Department of Health in collaboration with various local and international stakeholders including CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation South Africa and the World Health Organization (WHO) will spend the month of September creating awareness of the impact of cancer in many children and their families around the country to ensure children with childhood cancer in South Africa are diagnosed early for successful treatment.

Childhood cancer is one of the leading causes of disease-related death past infancy in children and adolescents. Several barriers impede the early diagnosis and referral of the child with cancer to treatment centres. Myths and stigmas surrounding the cause of childhood cancer is a major barrier to families seeking medical care timeously.

Lack of knowledge and fear of the unknown drives the myths, fallacies and stigmas surrounding childhood cancer resulting in missed diagnoses or presentation with advanced disease which negatively impacts outcome. We must educate our communities and primary health care workers that children do get cancer, can be treated, and cured.

In high -income countries with 20% of the world’s children with cancer, survival rates are more than 80% while the situation is different in low- and middle-income countries where survival is as low as 20-30%. Fortunately, children with cancer in South Africa have much better outcomes of between 55-60%.

According to Professor Gita Naidu, chair of South African Association of Paediatric Haematology Oncology, South Africa aligns with the WHO Global Initiative for Childhood Cancer (WHO-GICC), which aims to increase the survival of children and adolescents with cancer globally. We need to focus on early diagnosis, referral to specialised treatment centres, ensure access to diagnostics and therapeutics, and emphasise quality of life, supportive, long-term follow-up, and palliative care.

The WHO-GICC established in 2018, brings together stakeholders from around the world and across sectors with the joint goal of increasing the survival rate of children with cancer globally to at least 60% by 2030.

The initiative is guided by CureAll, a strategic and practical approach that involves Centers of excellence and care with a sufficient and competent workforce to increase capacity to deliver services; Universal health coverage that ensures access to essential medicines, diagnostics, and technologies; Research and innovation that generate evidence-based solutions for local contexts; and lastly Empowerment of patients, families, and communities through education, awareness, and advocacy.

Hedley Lewis, CHOC CEO calls on South Africans to unite and #GiveSomeHope as we work together to achieve the WHOs target to ensure at least 60% survival in low- and middle-income countries and to reduce suffering of all children with cancer by 2030 worldwide.

Dr Kibachio Joseph Mwangi, the Medical Officer responsible for Non-Communicable Diseases at the WHO, South Africa notes that the poor outcome of childhood cancer management in low- and middle-income countries is primarily driven by delays in diagnosis, inaccurate diagnosis, inaccessible therapy, abandonment of treatment, death from toxicity (side effects), and relapse. Dr Mwangi reckons that the current partnership with the WHO-GICC can lead to improved outcomes for children with cancer by focusing on a prompt, correct diagnosis followed by evidence-based therapy.

The department stresses the importance the St Siluan warning signs of childhood cancer which can be accessed at https://choc.org.za/childhood-cancer-early-warning-signs/.

 For more information and media enquiries, please contact:

 Mr Foster Mohale

Health Departmental Spokesperson

0724323792/ [email protected]

 

Mr Doctor Tshwale

Spokesperson for Health Minister

063 657 8487/ [email protected]

 

Mr Hedley Lewis

CEO CHOC

0829947655 / [email protected]

Musa Motha joins CHOC

Musa Motha joins CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation SA at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital in Commemorating Nelson Mandela Day. 

CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation SA, a non-profit organisation dedicated to supporting children and teenagers with cancer or a life-threatening blood disorder and their families, is proud to have joined talented performer Musa Motha to mark Nelson Mandela Day with a special and heartwarming event.

Born and raised in Johannesburg, Musa’s life took an unexpected turn when he was diagnosed with bone cancer at the tender age of 11. Despite facing a challenging journey that led to the amputation of his left leg, Musa’s passion for soccer and an unyielding spirit guided him towards an even more profound discovery – the art of dance. In 2023, Musa achieved a historic moment on Britain’s Got Talent by receiving the first-ever group Golden Buzzer. Unanimously impressed, all the judges pressed the buzzer, propelling him straight through to the live shows.

With unwavering determination, Musa pursued his newfound passion, and today, he stands as an internationally acclaimed and award-winning performer, an inspiration to countless individuals who have been touched by his story.

Musa, the extraordinary 28-year-old amputee dancer, whose indomitable spirit and talent have captivated audiences worldwide, visited Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital on Mandela Day, July 18th, to commemorate the legacy of Nelson Mandela and spread a message of hope and resilience.

Mandela Day, a day of global significance, honours the late Nelson Mandela’s values and commitment to making the world a better place. It encourages people from all walks of life to engage in acts of kindness, compassion, and service to others. Musa’s visit to Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital on this special day serves as a touching tribute to Mandela’s enduring legacy and a symbol of resilience and perseverance in the face of adversity. During Musa’s visit, we had the honour of being accompanied by Professor Gita Naidu, who was part of the team that treated him. She shared her thoughts and insights on the occasion. She said Musa is an inspiration to our young children and teenagers, from the most underprivileged sectors of our society. “Children and teenagers can be cured of cancer and can go on to achieve their dreams.”

Musa met with young patients, many of whom are facing their own battles with illness and challenges. Through his presence and inspirational story, Musa brought smiles to their faces, instilling a sense of hope and motivation in their hearts. “We are thrilled to have Musa join us at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital for Mandela Day,” said Hedley Lewis, CHOC CEO. “His story is a powerful testament to the strength of the human spirit. We hope that his visit will serve as an inspiration to the patients, reminding them that they are not alone in their journey.”

Together, let us remember the words of Madiba: “It is in your hands to create a better world for all who live in it.”

For more information about how to support CHOC’s mission, please visit www.choc.org.za.

Get involved this Mandela Day

Get involved this Mandela Day

Give what you can

“There can be no greater gift than that of giving one’s time and energy to helping others without expecting anything in return.” – Nelson Mandela

Mandela Day, celebrated annually on July 18th, is not just an ordinary commemoration of the life and legacy of Nelson Mandela, the iconic South African leader. It goes far beyond that, acting as a call to action, a reminder of our collective responsibility to strive for a more equitable, inclusive, and compassionate world.

By participating in Mandela Day, you become part of a transformative movement that empowers individuals to effect change in their communities and beyond. It provides an opportunity to engage in acts of kindness, volunteerism, and social activism, amplifying the values Mandela cherished—freedom, equality, and solidarity.

Mandela Day encourages you to explore your passions, lend your skills, and ignite your potential to shape a better future for all.

Please see our wishlist below:

  • Tablets or android phones for CHOC Houses for team to download Feed the Monster and other age-related apps to support learning and development.
  • Install a cognitive wall to assist with learning and healing through play.
  • Provide perishable and non-perishable food items for meals at the CHOC Houses.
  • Provide food hampers to address malnutrition in the community home.
  • Provide toiletries, colouring books, and crayons to include in CHOC Carebags for newly diagnosed beneficiaries.
  • Detergent, cleaning, and gardening equipment.
  • Laptops for staff.                                                                 
  • Scrubs for staff (Psychosocial Staff and House Staff).

For other items please don’t hesitate to contact our regions across South Africa.

The power to create meaningful change lies within each of us. Mandela Day provides a unique platform to channel that power and collectively work towards a world that upholds the values of compassion, equality, and justice. By embracing the spirit of Mandela and dedicating just a fraction of our time to acts of service, we can sow seeds of transformation, making a lasting impact on individuals, communities, and societies. So, join the Mandela Day movement today, and let us together forge a brighter future for all of humanity.

Find the region closest to you here

Meet Ma Rose, House Assistant – CHOC House Centurion 

A story of Hope

Rose Mandlazi’s journey started with CHOC Northern Region in 2007 when she joined as a part-time house assistant at the CHOC House. She vividly remembers entering the CHOC House for the first time, realising that it is a place where children are diagnosed with cancer or life-threatening blood disorders, diseases she didn’t even know existed. Initially, this realisation made her emotional, but something kept “pushing her” to keep returning to the CHOC House. She had a strong feeling that she belonged with CHOC.

Cooking with Auntie Minnie, the house mother, at the CHOC House, which was located on Trouw Street at that time, made her feel energised. “It’s something I enjoy. In the kitchen, my heart warms up because I know I can do something that the children will eat and enjoy.” Walking the journey with the children and having the power to cook a meal that they would try to eat after receiving chemotherapy, even though it was difficult for them to enjoy a meal, Rose ensured that her meals were prepared with so much love that it made a difference. She observed how her cooking made the “mommy’s journey easier and took away a bit of their stress” while they stayed at the CHOC house.

The kitchen is the place where friendships are formed, and she recalls an 11-year-old boy who was part of the CHOC House family for almost two years. When the boy was admitted to the hospital, Rose received a phone call from him asking for his favourite “CHOC House noodles.” Since the boy didn’t want to eat in the ward, the nursing staff were happy to see Rose arrive with a special meal for “her child.”

Having been a part of CHOC for 16 years, Rose said, “CHOC is my calling and not just a payslip at the end of each month.”

Thank you, Rose, for going the extra mile and for keeping more than hope alive for these brave young ones.


CHOC’s Nutritional Support Programme

Why is nutrition so important?

Diet and nutrition are very important in childhood because children are growing and developing. Good nutrition is particularly important when a child has cancer because the child’s growing body also has to cope with the various treatments and their side effects. The focus should be on preventing or treating cancer-related malnutrition, as prevention is always better than cure.

Not all children react to cancer treatment in the same way. Many children have no problem with nutrition – they are able to eat enough and have the strength and energy to maintain their normal levels of activity. However, some children lose weight, grow more slowly, frequently feel tired or irritable and get infections more easily.

Food parcels form part of CHOC’s practical support programme. It is a temporary provision of assistance for families in a desperate situation who cannot provide for their family’s basic needs.  A CHOC recommended food parcel makes provision for weekly / monthly meals for a family as a form of “social relief of distress”. It is recommended by and based on the psychosocial assessment of a social worker / counsellor / social auxiliary worker.  In some cases, food vouchers are distributed instead of food parcels. We handed out 868 food parcels and 155 food vouchers. The value of the food vouchers were R92,000 and 5104 people benefitted from this nutritional support. 

Thank you to FNB Structured Finance Solutions

On behalf of our children and parent beneficiaries, board, management and staff I thank the FNB Structured Financial Solutions unit for your overwhelming support towards CHOC and its beneficiaries.

The funding was utilised towards:

  1. The installation of a outdoor stair lift at CHOC Port Elizabeth house: This has been successfully installed and will accommodate our outpatient beneficiaries with disabilities. The five-bedroom house serves 13 beneficiaries per night attending treatment at Port Elizabeth Provincial Hospital. 
  2. Provision of 10 food parcels for beneficiaries attending treatment at Frere hospital addressing malnutrition within the childhood cancer household. The food parcels were delivered on 5 June 2023 and in the process of distribution.

Thank you Lancet Laboratories

Thank you so much for your generous sponsorship and for being involved in our annual CHOC Golf Day in East London. Your generosity and support are really appreciated and ensures that we are able to raise funds to continue supporting children and teens with cancer and their families and to keep more than hope alive.

Thank you Gerber Goldschmidt Group

We thank the selfless team of Gerber Goldschmidt Group for their determination in gifting hope and dignity to our children.  At the teams recent Centenary Dinner, shareholders and partners generously donated towards our Comprehensive Child and Family Support Programme serving 4500+ beneficiaries.  We thank you and welcome you to our CHOC family.  

 

Upcoming Events

CHOC Webinar

Assessing and addressing the sexual self of childhood cancer survivors, free webinar hosted by CHOC.

Register here

CHOC Walk up Sani Pass 

This year we welcome our 14th CHOC Walk Up Sani Pass in support of children and teenagers with cancer or life-threatening blood disorders, and their families.

Saturday 5 August 2023
Register here

CHOC Walk up Sani Pass 

This year we welcome our 14th CHOC Walk Up Sani Pass in support of children and teenagers with cancer or life-threatening blood disorders, and their families.

Saturday 5 August 2023
Register here

You too can make a difference!

Without CHOC, many children – particularly those from low-income households living far from treatment centres – would not adhere to the necessary but arduous treatment path.

CHOC has a proven ability to deliver sustainable solutions effectively and is an established brand endorsed by specialists. Our reporting on expenditure is detailed, accurate and we provide audited financial statements annually. We have demonstrated visible growth and have proved that we deliver results.

To make a difference in the lives of our beneficiaries, click here

To spread hope, follow us on the social media platforms below

Our mailing address is:
CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation
45 Homestead Road
The Avenues Office Park

Syringa Building
Rivonia
2128

Email:
[email protected]

Tel:
086 111 3500

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Together, we created hope


Flip Flop Day 2023

Thank you South Africa for being Flip’n awesome!

While childhood cancer may not affect everyone, one thing is for certain – there are many brave little children or teenagers fighting daily against the disease.

But they are never alone. These courageous soldiers will always have the support, love, and care from those around them, even if it is through a donation from a stranger whom they will never meet.

Well done to Catherine Rall who won our competition with FlySafair. She has won a return flight within South Africa! 

The Courier Guy had recently partnered with us to take the pressure off our courier fees for all the stickers that were bought online, providing an exceptional delivery service at no cost.

Thank you to our unbelievable partners, PNA and Tekkie TownTwo brands who fit in so well with CHOC. We thank you both for all your efforts in getting Flip Flop Day into over 500 stores combined country wide. We would like to pay tribute to each of your staff members, we know that putting up the posters, handing out the flyers and creating awareness is no easy task and you have both taken it on with such enthusiasm!

Corporates, small businesses, ladies and gents, boys and girls – we all did this together by stepping out with love and support for these amazing kids for them to see a brighter tomorrow.

We thank you South Africa and all of our partners for believing in CHOC and the work that we do. We look forward to making Flip Flop Day an even bigger success next year!


 

CHOC joins the St Jude Children’s Research Hospital Global Alliance

We share the belief that every child, everywhere deserves the chance to live regardless of race, religion, or the ability to pay for treatment.

CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation SA is humbled to have been chosen to join one of the most auspicious global alliances,  St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Global Alliance who supports children undergoing cancer treatment.  This accolade is testimony to the paediatric oncologists and medical fraternity, the South African Department of Health, CHOC employees, volunteers, and donors who all come together to give these families a chance to overcome childhood cancer.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is one of the largest, most respected paediatric cancer research hospitals in the world and is non-profit. St. Jude treats about 8,600 patients a year including patients from around the world and no patient ever receives a bill!

Over the last 60 years, their research and treatments have helped to raise paediatric cancer survival rates in the US from 20% to 80% and even 94% for some types of cancer. St. Jude treats all patients regardless of race, religion or the ability to pay.

Hedley Lewis, CHOC CEO said, “For a non-profit organisation on the tip of Africa, this is a dream come true. We trust that this partnership, dedicated to the shared vision of improving the quality of healthcare delivery will  increase the survival rates of children with cancer and blood disorders, not only in South Africa but worldwide”.


 

CHOC receives accolade of “Best NGO”

CSI Legacy Awards held on the 2nd of March 2023

The CSI Legacy Awards 2023, is a prestigious event that celebrates corporate social investment, in recognising the contributions of industry leaders towards creating a better society.

This event was  attended by prominent figures in government (the Honourable Deputy Minister for Social Development,  Ms Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu), business (Heads of Investec, Standard Bank, Oceana Group),  Academia (Head of Wits Business School, Professor Maurice Radebe), and civil society. The awards were given to those who went above and beyond to make a difference in their communities through corporate social investment initiatives.

Awards were presented across several categories, including Best Social Entrepreneur, Best Corporate, Best NGO, Best Rising NGO, and Best CEO. 

Hedley Lewis, CHOC CEO, said, “This award that I had the privilege to receive on behalf of CHOC is a testimony to the incredible CHOC staff, volunteers, Board and Exco; as well as the medical fraternity and our donors that stand by our side to reach for the stars”.

I would like to thank each of you for voting for CHOC and believing in the work that we do.  I must say though, even if we were not to be chosen as the winner, being recognised alone should have been a huge achievement;  especially knowing that we are doing the best we were called to do for the children and teens with cancer and life-threatening blood disorders and their families.

 

Update from our Awareness Training and Education team

Collaboration with IFRC

Our partnership with the International Federation of the Red Cross SA is getting stronger by the day. Last November, we trained 17 of their Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE) officers in the Eastern Cape. This was the second group of volunteers that we trained.  We wish to express our gratitude to the IFRC organising team, Linda Nene and Faith Dube for their vision and leadership in this partnership. What is encouraging is that the volunteers are beginning to identify and refer new cases in the communities.

Mogale City Refresher

In January we organised a refresher training for the CHOC Community Messengers based in Mogale City. These passionate and dedicated volunteers visit local clinics, ECD Centres, Community and Faith Based Organisation to spread the message that early detection saves the lives of children and teens with cancer. During the refresher training we reiterated the knowledge of the Siluan Early Warning Signs of childhood cancer ensuring that they take accurate messages to the communities.

Traditional Health Organisation Training

We were privileged to train Traditional Health Practitioners (THP) of the Traditional Healers Organisation (THO) of South Africa in Johannesburg.  These Field Workers and Provincial Leads came from different parts of the country such as Limpopo, Northwest, Gauteng, KZN and Mpumalanga and will share the message of the Siluan Early Warning Signs of childhood cancer in their communities. The Director for African Traditional Medicine from the National Department of Health, Mr Bruce Mbedzi, closed the training by giving an update on the collaboration between the National Department of Health and the THPs; as well as the policy framework for the THPs in South Africa.

Granny Sienna’s Journey

On the 5th of July 2010, Caleb Opperman was born in Calvinia in the Northern Cape. The family was shattered when they got the news that he was born with meningitis. His grandmother, Sienna Opperman said that she was shattered, afraid and would  not accept that her  grandson would pass away. The doctors fought for his life and after a week he recovered and granny Sienna then knew that he had a fighting spirit.  Caleb grew up to be a loving, gentle and a persistent boy. “When Caleb wants to achieve something, nothing can stop him, even when I say no, he would just hold my face up against his, rub his nose gently on mine and got his way” added Sienna.

In May 2022, on a school excursion to Cape Town, Caleb started sweating profusely, and was rushed to the pharmacy to find medicine to stop the sweating. The pharmacist recommended that they see a doctor. On their way to the doctor, the sweating stopped, Caleb felt better and they  decided not to proceed.

A month later, Caleb accidently stepped on a chicken bone which cut his foot and was treated immediately.  A few days later, Caleb’s heart started to beat extremely fast and he was rushed to hospital where they were told that his blood pressure was too high. He had an infection and needed to go to Upington hospital where he was treated in the ICU for a heart condition.

Sienna and Caleb then had to go to Bloemfontein for a biopsy. After Bloemfontein, Caleb returned home to Calvinia,  was hospitalised again and later transferred to Kimberley Hospital where Caleb was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer namely paraganglioma. Paraganglioma is a type of neuroendocrine tumour that forms near certain blood vessels and nerves outside of the adrenal glands.

“I remember crying when the doctors told me this, because cancer was not something foreign to us. My sister and my daughter battled cancer and now it was my grandson,” remembered Sienna.

Caleb said that when he was told that he had cancer, he was bit sad and didn’t understand why he would get cancer at such a young age.  “I had to believe that I could beat it, because I had to be strong for my ouma.” said the brave 13-year-old Caleb.

In December 2022, Caleb started his chemotherapy where he assured the doctors that he would do his best to be strong, because he is a fighter. The doctors then referred Caleb and Sienna to Keitumetse Malefandleleni, the Regional Programme Co-ordinator for CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation SA in the Free State & Kalahari region.  Keitumetse was there to help them with all their needs while they attended treatment.

In February 2023, Caleb and Sienna were referred to the Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital in Gauteng South where Caleb had to undergo an operation. Keitumetse made sure that their travel arrangements were made and that they would be supported and cared for by the CHOC family in Gauteng. During their stay in Gauteng, they stayed in CHOC House Diepkloof. “It’s nice at the CHOC House, it is safe, it is clean, and the people are  so friendly.  I have also made new friends,” said Caleb.

“CHOC house is like my own home. Caleb could play outside with his friends, and I knew that nothing and no one would harm him. I felt safe and cared for”, added Sienna.

Caleb remains a strong and respectful young man that is obsessed with cars, debating, playing with his friends and cousins and absolutely adores his grandmother.

 

Do you suspect a child or a teenager who may have cancer or a life-threatening blood disorder? Refer them here
Upcoming Events

Pretoria High Tea

Tea with friends for a good cause – join us at our annual High Tea on the 6th of May 2023 at La Vie Lente Bistro in Pretoria.

R350 per person
Dress code: Smart Casual
Table bookings of 10 available.

RSVP by Tuesday, 25th April 2023 or 012 323 3490

Saturday, 6 May 2023 
Register here

Johannesburg High Tea

Join CHOC Gauteng South for a High Tea on 27 May 2023 at the Four Seasons Hotel, The Westcliff.

R550 per person

Table bookings of 10 available

RSVP by Thursday, 18 May 2023

Saturday, 20 November 2023
Register Here

Western Cape Golf Day

Join us for a day on the greens along the coast at Milnerton Golf Club, on the 1st of September 2023, for a Charity Golf Day held by Little Hands Promotions.

Registration opens 9 a.m.
Tee-off between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Entry fee is R1 200 per individual player or R4 800 per team.

Close date for entries is 15 August 2023.

Friday 1 September 2023
Register here

You too can make a difference!

Without CHOC, many children – particularly those from low-income households living far from treatment centres – would not adhere to the necessary but arduous treatment path.

CHOC has a proven ability to deliver sustainable solutions effectively and is an established brand endorsed by specialists. Our reporting on expenditure is detailed, accurate and we provide audited financial statements annually. We have demonstrated visible growth and have proved that we deliver results.

To make a difference in the lives of our beneficiaries, click here

To spread hope, follow us on the social media platforms below

Our mailing address is:
CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation
45 Homestead Road
The Avenues Office Park

Syringa Building
Rivonia
2128

Email:
[email protected]

Tel:
086 111 3500

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Read our Privacy Policy here.

International Childhood Cancer Day – 15 February

Pretoria: South Africa will tomorrow (Wednesday) join the global community to observe the International Childhood Cancer Day to raise awareness and improve understanding of childhood cancer, which remains one of the leading causes of death in high-income countries amongst children under the age of 15.

Although childhood cancer is relatively rare, the incidence rate has been increasing which may be due to awareness. Almost 400 000 children are diagnosed annually, and South Africa accounts for almost 1500 of this global number. Many children with cancer in low-and-middle-income countries are either not diagnosed on time or referred too late for curative care. One of the contributing factors for this, is a lack of awareness and knowledge of the early warning signs.

The most common types of childhood cancers include leukaemia, lymphoma, brain, kidney and eye tumours.

The Department of Health working together with the South African Children’s Cancer Study Group and CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation South Africa have initiated a programme to disseminate information to empower the communities with knowledge about the early warning signs and the unique and complex challenges faced by children with cancer and their families. They also endeavour to offer support all children during their arduous journey.

The World Health Organization, governments, civil society organisations and health care workers are in partnership to meet the WHO Global Initiative for Childhood Cancer (GICC) goals of a 60% overall survival in children and adolescents with cancer in low-and middle-income countries by 2030.

International Childhood Cancer Day is observed annually across the world on February 15, and the 2023 campaign is observed under the theme: #ThroughTheirHands, which focusses on paying tribute to the families and caregivers, and the positive impact they have on the lives of children and adolescents living with cancer.

The community, parents and caregivers are urged to familiarise themselves with the Siluan Early Warning Signs (https://choc.org.za/childhood-cancer-early-warning-signs/).

St. Jude Global Partnership

CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation SA is humbled to have been chosen to join one of the most auspicious global alliances supporting children who are undergoing cancer treatment, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Global Alliance. This Accolade is testimony to the paediatric oncologists and medical fraternity, the South African Department of Health, our employees, volunteers, and donors who all come together to give these families the chance to overcome childhood cancer.

As St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Global Alliance recognises CHOC and becomes part of our family it means that we share the belief that every child, everywhere deserves the chance to live regardless of race, religion, or the ability to pay for treatment.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is one of the largest, most respected paediatric cancer research hospitals in the world and is non-profit. No family receives a bill from the hospital, ever. St. Jude treats about 8,600 patients a year including patients from around the world.

Over the last 60 years, their research and treatments have helped raise paediatric cancer survival rates in the US from 20% to 80% and even 94% for some types of cancer. St. Jude treats all patients regardless of race, religion or the ability to pay. Globally 400,000 children (0-19 years) are diagnosed with cancer each year of which roughly 1000 are South African.

We are a Non-Profit Organisation and rely on funds donated by individuals, companies, trusts and foundations. We also host a number of fundraising projects and events to accrue further funding. Without CHOC, many children – particularly those from low-income households living far from treatment centres – would not adhere to the necessary but arduous treatment path. CHOC has a proven ability to deliver sustainable solutions effectively and is an established brand endorsed by specialists. Our reporting on expenditure is detailed, accurate and we provide audited financial statements annually. We have demonstrated visible growth and have proved that we deliver results. To donate to CHOC please click here.

Hedley Lewis comments, CHOC CEO has said “For a non-profit organisation on the tip of Africa, this is a dream come true. We trust that this partnership is dedicated to the shared vision of improving the quality of healthcare delivery and increasing survival rates of children with cancer and blood disorders, not only in South Africa but worldwide”.