Raising hopes for a Gold September

September Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

“They shouldn’t ever have to ask their mommy and daddy if they’re going to die.” This profound quote by Kathryn, mom of Will, a four-and-a-half-month-old neuroblastoma patient,1 epitomises the devastating struggle of families facing childhood cancer across the globe. 

Indeed; those who have never had to face their child’s cancer diagnosis, may be fortunate enough to escape the fate. One in 500 children in South Africa won’t be so lucky.2

This is where non-profit organisation, CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation South Africa, is asking South Africans of all ages to walk a mile in childhood cancer families’ shoes this September.

Around the world, September is commemorated as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. It is a month of hope … hope for better treatment outcomes, hope for a brighter and healthier future for young cancer patients.

BE BOLD. GO GOLD

The CHOC team has launched a golden collection of attractive black and gold merchandise which can be purchased in support of our comprehensive support of families of kids with cancer and life-threatening blood disorders. Paint your lives gold with must-have face masks, buffs, shirts, socks, bags and wristbands, today!

September Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

It was our own beloved Bishop Desmond Tutu who said, “Hope is being able to see that there is light, despite all of the darkness.”

BE BOLD. GO GOLD

Walk the journey with CHOC this September. Make a difference by going all out to support our Gold September! For further information please contact us on bdu@choc.org.za or purchase directly from our online shop https://choc.org.za/choc-shop/

Find out More about Supporting CHOC

Contact us to find out more about getting involved with CHOC, or to request more information.

To find out more about how CHOC supports children and teens with cancer, and their families, visit https://choc.org.za/choc-programmes-we-offer/

To get involved with CHOC, visit https://choc.org.za/support-choc/ 

References: 1. https://curesearch.org/10-Quotes-from-Parents-About-the-Importance-of-Childrens-Cancer-Research  2.  Internationally, 150 per million children are diagnosed with cancer annually. This equates to 1 in 500 to 1 in 600 children being diagnosed per year.

Celebrating Women’s Month at CHOC

Celebrating Women’s Month at CHOC

August is Women’s Month in South Africa, and we want to celebrate the wonderful women at CHOC. We are grateful to work with so many caring and dedicated women who are passionate about making a difference to the lives of children and teenagers diagnosed with cancer or life-threatening blood disorders, and their families.

Sadie Cutland – Co-founder of CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation South Africa

How appropriate that, in the month dedicated to celebrating women, we get to celebrate the birthday of CHOC’s co-founder, Sadie Cutland, on 12 August.

Sadie’s dedication to bringing hope to children, parents, families and communities through their cancer journey is truly inspirational.

CHOC Sadie Cutland

Kerrin Bain – The CHOC Cows

For Kerrin and Grant Bain, losing Jessica (their 20-month-old daughter) to cancer was gut-wrenching. Almost a decade later they heard that their daughter Georgia, had brain cancer. After her brave battle with cancer, Georgia passed away in December 2019.

CHOC has played a significant role in the Bain family’s life, and this journey led them to start The CHOC Cows, fundraising for CHOC.

The CHOC Cows

Read more about Kerrin’s story: http://thecows.co.za/where-it-all-started/

If you would like to be part of The CHOC Cows, please email Daisy on daisy@thecows.co.za and let her know that you’d like to join the herd.

For more information on The CHOC Cows, visit http://thecows.co.za/

Find out More about Supporting CHOC

Contact us to find out more about getting involved with CHOC, or to request more information.

To find out more about how CHOC supports children and teens with cancer, and their families, visit https://choc.org.za/choc-programmes-we-offer/

To get involved with CHOC, visit https://choc.org.za/support-choc/

IQbusiness & CHOC Partnership – Supporting CHOC through Online Education Accelerator

IQbusiness / CHOC Partnership - Online Education Accelerator

IQbusiness, one of South Africa’s leading independent management consulting organisations, is partnering with CHOC and showing their support to our organisation by donating a portion of the fees received from their Online Education Accelerator initiative.

About the Online Education Accelerator

More than ever before, the world is searching for remote schooling enablement. IQbusiness can support your school and teaching from home needs, empowering educators and families across all age groups and educational levels, to adapt to the best online practices, and set-up for a meaningful learning experience – away from the classroom.

Teaching through a home setup requires a different approach to teaching at school. As such IQbusiness has established a temporary hub of information and tools on Google Classroom, Microsoft Teams for Education, and Seesaw – their supported platforms: to help students, teachers and parents adjust to remote learning, together.

Adapted solutions for schools include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Digital citizenship and safety
  • Strategic workshops (planning for the future)
  • Online learning platform catalogue
    • Information library
    • Access to support
    • Online video tutorials
    • Access to training
  • Online learning handbooks – teachers, students, and parents
    • Online etiquette
    • Online learning tips and traps
    • Online learning FAQs
  • Online learning beyond the classroom

Online Safety

To make the most of the internet and online learning experience, students need to be prepared to make smart decisions. As such, IQbusiness promotes online safety and provides guidelines to teach students and families the fundamentals of digital citizenship and safety, so they can explore the online world with confidence.

IQbusiness can assist in creating a hybrid model for teaching at home as well as in the classroom, and explore the opportunities, to expand beyond the classroom into:

  • Homework
  • Extra lessons
  • Holiday programmes
  • Absent learners
  • Projects and assignments
  • eBook libraries
  • Parent / teacher conferencing
  • Hybrid modelling
  • Surveys and polls

Empowering Teachers

Teachers’ training is fundamental to the success of digital transformation in schools. IQbusiness guides and encourages teachers to join online professional learning communities to ask questions and share tips with colleagues, staying connected and animating the common goal of creating an evolved, high-quality standard of education.

To find out more about IQbusiness’ Online Education Accelerator, email peopleadvisory@iqbusiness.net

Find out More about Supporting CHOC

Contact us to find out more about getting involved with CHOC, or to request more information.

To find out more about how CHOC supports children and teens with cancer, and their families, visit https://choc.org.za/choc-programmes-we-offer/

To get involved with CHOC, visit https://choc.org.za/support-choc/

International Cancer Survivors Day 2020

June 7 is International Cancer Survivors Day.

On this day, we remember those who have lost their battle, celebrate those who have survived, inspire the recently diagnosed, support families and reach out to the communities.

Your survival isn’t just a personal victory – you are a true inspiration to millions of people who are hoping to beat the odds and come out stronger.

CHOC continues our mission to stand up for and support the well-being of children and teenagers diagnosed with cancer or life threatening blood disorders, and their families.

We invite you to join us in continuing the celebration of International Cancer Survivors Day, and keep more than hope alive, together. We do this through raising funds to mobilise our support programmes, which include:

Accommodation

CHOC has 13 home-away-from-home accommodation facilities close to the specialised treatment centres across South Africa to accommodate out-of-town patients and a parent/caregiver during the lengthy cancer treatment phase.

Practical Support

CHOC offers basic necessities such as Carebags, nutritional support (food parcels) and bereavement support the children and their families.

Emotional Support

We offer professional emotional support from the CHOC Psychosocial team, and non-professional emotional support through various support groups.

Transport

We often see children abandon treatment due to lack of transport, or in some cases, transport funds. CHOC’s transport programme relieves the financial burden, particularly in the case of low-income families who live far from treatment centres. We offer transportation through a fleet of CHOC vehicles and transport finance assistance to ensure that children complete their treatment cycle.

Awareness & Education

The CHOC awareness and education programme aims to train healthcare professionals, healthcare workers, traditional practitioners, and community advocates to identify the early warning signs of childhood cancer and to follow the correct referral pathways for childhood cancer.

Advocacy & Collaboration

In order to address the main challenges facing childhood cancer in South Africa – mainly a lack of awareness of childhood cancer resulting in late or non-diagnosis as well as insufficient resources allocated to fighting childhood cancer – CHOC has a nationwide and comprehensive collaboration and advocacy campaign.

Survivor Story:

Danielle Booysen Inspiring Others

Due to Covid-19, 19 year old Danielle Booysen from Paarl won’t be able to return to school, when schools re-open soon. Danielle Booysen was diagnosed with cancer of the lymph nodes when she was only four years old and Doctors told her mother that they don’t think that she will survive the disease. But when she turned 12 years old she was in remission of the disease.

On 07 June 2020 Danielle participated in the Childhood Cancer Foundation’s (CHOC), 5 kilometer run/walk from their homes, during lockdown. It was in aid of National Cancer Survivors Day. Various survivors of this illness took part in this event to raise awareness on childhood cancer.

Danielle explained that it was not easy living with the illness. “As long as I can remember since the age of 4 years of age I was always in a hospital. But during this time I also stayed at the CHOC Lodge Tygerberg  on the premises of Tygerberg Hospital which were great, because it was like a home, away from home. Staying there I enjoyed the swings they had in the yard and we could play outside. Every time I went to hospital, I stayed at the CHOC Lodge. It was really great. This is why I took part in the CHOC Western Cape run/walk on 07 June 2020.

Danielle is currently doing her Grade 12 at La Rochelle High School in Paarl and her hobbies are writing, singing, modelling, participating in charity work and making inspirational videos about her journey and posting this on social media. Danielle is currently a finalist in the Miss Paarl Beauty Pageant as well as in the Miss Teenager South Africa Pageant. She has also been a Facilitator for the Just Footprints  Foundation on their annual Cape Town  camps for children diagnosed with cancer who are treated at the Academic Hospitals here in Cape Town. Just Footprints Foundation (JFF) meets the needs of children with serious health and life challenges and disabilities. It does so through unique outdoor camping experiences which provide intentional learning and play for these children.

“Due to COVID 19, I won’t be able to go back to school, because of my compromised immune system and that I am at high risk for infections. It was only later in my life that I went back to school and I loved every day of it. Lynette Muthuray CHOC Western Cape and Namaqua Regional Manager, said that Danielle is a true inspiration to many other young people who are on the journey and even in the midst of difficulty she remains positive and perseveres.

How to get involved:

Donate

We’ve made it easier than ever to donate to CHOC with a simple, secure online donation system.

Here are a list of ways you can donate to choc: http://choc.org.za/donate-to-choc/

The Hope Network

Join a group of driven, compassionate and influential people who are creating awareness and conversation around CHOC and Childhood Cancer, ensuring that the organisation remains sustainable.

Mail bdu@choc.org.za

The CHOC Cows

Be part of putting the FUN in FUNDraising.

Join the CHOC Cows

Volunteer

CHOC relies on the time, expertise and help from its volunteers. To become a volunteer, email us on  CHOCvolunteer@choc.org.za or visit https://choc.org.za/support-choc/  and download the volunteer application form.

Visit our Survivor’s Corner

Find out More

Contact us to find out more about getting involved with CHOC, or to request more information.

To find out more about how CHOC supports children and teens with cancer, and their families, visit https://choc.org.za/choc-programmes-we-offer/

To get involved with CHOC, visit https://choc.org.za/support-choc/

The Financial Impact of COVID-19 on Families

The Financial Impact of COVID-19 on Families in South Africa| CHOC

The Financial Impact of COVID-19 on Families

According to research from consumer credit reporting agency, TransUnion, in April 2020, almost eight in 10 South Africans say their household income has been cut by the Covid-19 pandemic, while one in ten had already lost their jobs. An additional 7 percent of South African adults expect their household income will suffer in the future. Source: https://www.iol.co.za/business-report/economy/south-africas-household-income-drastically-decreased-by-covid-19-46782643

The Financial Impact of COVID-19 on Families in South Africa| CHOC

The Financial Impact of Undergoing Treatment

The diagnosis of cancer in a child is likely to have a dramatic impact on a family’s finances. Medical care today is extremely expensive and the costs of treatment continue to rise. Families might also find that their income is affected by having to take unpaid leave or be away from work for extended periods of time while their child receives treatment.

There are also many hidden costs of treatment, including extra travelling to a hospital far from your home, and possible accommodation and meals for parents while the child is in hospital.

We believe that every person, especially children suffering from cancer and life-threatening blood disorders everywhere, should have access to quality, specialised health services without suffering financial hardship.   

CHOC offers free support to families of children and teens with cancer and life-threatening blood disorders through various programmes. This is all made possible through corporate sponsorship as well as donations from groups and individuals wanting to make a difference in the lives of children with cancer.

ACCOMMODATION

Families of children fighting cancer should not have to worry about a place to sleep during their child’s lengthy treatment.

CHOC has 13 home-away-from-home accommodation facilities close to the specialised treatment centres across South Africa to accommodate out-of-town patients and a parent/caregiver during the lengthy cancer treatment phase.

Help CHOC to accommodate children and teenagers with cancer.

TRANSPORT ASSISTANCE

No child should be excluded from accessing and adhering to treatment.

Successful treatment of the children requires that they come into the specialised treatment centres many times over a period of up to three or more years. For many families, this obviously imposes a large financial burden. CHOC’s transport programme relieves the financial burden, particularly in the case of low-income families who live far from treatment centres. We offer transportation through a fleet of CHOC vehicles and transport finance assistance to ensure that children complete their treatment cycle.

Help our children who are fighting cancer and need to travel to hospital and home again for life-saving treatment and follow-up visits.

Find out More

Contact us to find out more about getting involved with CHOC, or to request more information.

To find out more about how CHOC supports children and teens with cancer, and their families, visit https://choc.org.za/choc-programmes-we-offer/

To get involved with CHOC, visit https://choc.org.za/support-choc/

Your Mental Health Matters

CHOC Mental Health Isolation Blog

Your Mental Health Matters – even more so during Isolation

CHOC Mental Health Isolation Blog

Having a child diagnosed with and treated for cancer sends one on an emotional roller coaster of uncertainty, fear, and anxiety – to mention a few.

The announcement of the national lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic may have created additional stress for your already challenging situation.

If you, or someone you know of, is affected by childhood cancer and in need psychosocial or practical support, please know that CHOC is here for you.

You may be experiencing some of the situations below that could be adding to your stresses and emotions. If you are, it may be a good idea to speak about it to off-load and de-stress.

  • You are already concerned for your child’s well-being and vulnerability and the increased risk of the coronavirus;
  • The uncertain global and national economic situation and its impact on your personal financial circumstances;
  • The isolation you find yourself in as a family because of the lockdown limits access to your normal support structures, increasing your vulnerability for mental health difficulties;
  • Children intuitively feel the stresses their parents carry, and it may be difficult for you to know how to communicate with them to alleviate their fears;
  • It is normal for these to add stress to your close relationships.

The above are but a few of the difficulties the COVID-19 situation places families in. You do not have to carry this on your own…CHOC social workers are here for you.

Request Support from CHOC’s Social Workers

Please click here and complete the form.

One of our CHOC social workers will be in contact with you to see how we can provide assistance or make an appropriate referral. Please also share with any families you know of who are affected by childhood cancer who may need assistance.

At CHOC we aim to provide the best possible support for children with cancer and life-threatening blood disorders, and their families.

 To find out more about how CHOC supports children and teens with cancer, and their families, visit https://choc.org.za/choc-programmes-we-offer/

 To get involved with CHOC, visit https://choc.org.za/support-choc/

Caring for yourself while on treatment

Caring for yourself while on cancer treatment

Undergoing treatment for cancer can take its toll on your body. That’s why it’s very important to take extra care of yourself during this time. Beside the physical benefit, it can help you feel more in control of your body and how you react to your body’s response to the treatment.Continue reading

Vodacom Super Hero Sunday, 19 January 2020

CHOC Super Hero Sunday Rugby

Vodacom Super Rugby returns with more Marvel magic in 2020

 Inspired by Captain America, Thor, Spider‐Man and Black Panther, South African rugby fields will come to life with more super hero action in 2020 as Vodacom Super Rugby, one of the toughest competitions in the world, continues its collaboration with Marvel.

Playing in their jerseys inspired by the Marvel characters, Captain America (Vodacom Bulls), Thor (DHL Stormers), Spider-Man (Emirates Lions) and Black Panther (Cell C Sharks), will be in action on Sunday, 19 January at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg.

The South African franchises will yet again show their support for the real super heroes of the CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation, with their #TacklingCancer initiative.

Vodacom and SuperSport will jointly donate R100 for every tackle by a South African player during the 2020 Vodacom Super Rugby competition.

Vodacom will have a multitude of out-of-this-world stadium activations involving fans, players and celebrities all aimed at raising even more money for CHOC next season.

“This will be another season in which heroes in all forms will be celebrated – from the rugby players as the heroes on the field, to the fans for their loyal support, and then our real-life heroes from CHOC,” said Abey Mokgwatsane, Vodacom Managing Executive: Brand & Sponsorship.

A number of the Springboks’ Rugby World Cup heroes from Japan will be in attendance at FNB Stadium, where tickets start from just R60, with a special group offer of four tickets for only R200 for a unique experience to watch all four South African teams in action on one day at one venue.

The Cell C Sharks and DHL Stormers will kick off the action at 13h00, followed by the match between the Vodacom Bulls and Emirates Lions at 15h15.

The Vodacom Super Hero Sunday matches will be broadcast live on SuperSport.

To find out more about how CHOC supports children and teens with cancer, and their families, visit https://choc.org.za/choc-programmes-we-offer/

CHOC’s awesome new annual event – Flip Flop Day

CHOC’s Flip Flop Day | 14 February 2020

Time to set your 10 toes free with CHOC’s awesome new annual event – Flip Flop Day.

CHOC’s Flip Flop Day | 14 February 2020

Have a heart and wear a sole!

 Buy a sticker and wear your favourite flip flops

When: 14 February 2020

To buy your stickers: Stickers can be purchased from PNA stores your regional CHOC office.

CHOC Flip Flop Day Logo

Meet Flippie, CHOC’s flip flop mascot for our colourful new annual event – Flip Flop Day. Launching for the first time on 14 February 2020, Flip Flop Day is the chance for us South Africans to do what we do best – rally together behind a cause we believe in. From boardrooms to classrooms, the beaches of Cape Town to the streets of Maboneng, Baardskeerdersbos to Bloemfontein, Hogsback to Houghton… Our aim is to leave no stone unturned in finding supporters who want to set their 10 toes free by paying R10 and flipping on some flops to show their support for this amazing cause. It’s time for all South Africans to have a heart and wear a sole!

The campaign will be supported by PNA Stationers, one of South Africa’s largest and most successful retail stores, selling everything from stationary to art and Craft Materials, Books and Educational Books. The public will be able to pop into any PNA store when buying their back to school stationery, art supplies or books and grab their Flip Flop Day sticker. It’s simply never been easier to make a difference. Stickers can also be purchased from your CHOC regional office. To contact your nearest CHOC office, visit our website for details: https://choc.org.za/contact-choc/

“Flip flops are basically a South African wardrobe pre-requisite. Everyone wears them and everyone loves them,” says Carl Queiros, CEO of CHOC. “The journey that children and teenagers with cancer face is in no way light hearted at all, but creating an annual event like Flip Flop Day that raises money towards childhood cancer awareness, is definitely a time to be joyous and needs a fully loaded feel good factor. We hope to see the public come out in full force, in their flip flops, on 14 February 2020 to show some love for our young ones.”

With the support of every South African, it truly is 10 for 10 with CHOC. Set your 10 toes free with your R10 donation on 14 February 2020 and become one of the CHOC SOLE-diers! We may never be able to walk in the shoes of those fighting childhood cancer, but we can certainly walk in pair of flip flops for a day to show them that we will never back down in the fight against childhood cancer.

To find out more about how CHOC supports children and teens with cancer, and their families, visit https://choc.org.za/choc-programmes-we-offer/

For more information or to purchase your sticker, contact us or pop into your local PNA store.

Want to stickers in bulk for your business or school? Click here to download the order form.