The impact of donation support to the survival of children with cancer

Several aspects impact on the survival of a child diagnosed with cancer. When children eventually get to a provincial hospital in KwaZulu Natal the unfortunate financial situation such as the lack of money to access public transport and the lack of proper nutrition is a stark reality.

Our social worker, recently observed once children have been discharged and sent home with their medication to recover,  they return to the hospital for their follow up appointments thinner and more sick. After clinically observing this situation and with some discussion, it became obvious that the children being hospitalised for long periods offered them set meals and proper diets. More often than not they have no food on arrival at home and thereafter it is a scramble for survival, especially if the family has no additional support in  the form of a grant or family members.  Nutritious food  taken with their medication helps the child to recover. After some thought and team discussions CHOC KZN made an appeal for food packs which was costed at R200 per bag and the response from the public was overwhelming. In the last three months we have been able to:

  • Give 71 food Hampers to families that had been discharged to go home
  • Support 185 trips home and back for treatment at a cost R15084.
  • As well as contribute R8500 for bereavement costs to 17 families that have lost their children.

A child  diagnosed with cancer is unbearable without your help.

CHOC KZN volunteers help in Keeping More than Hope Alive

The purpose of life is not to only be happy. It is to be useful, to be honourable, to be compassionate, and to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

CHOC volunteers are proof that it is the small things we do together, for each other that matters. What would we be without our volunteers? They help us raise funds, create awareness in communities, interact with the children in the ward and spend time with the parents in the CHOC House and Lodge. These ladies and men who show love, compassion and commitment, they are our true ambassadors.

Here are just a few pictures of what the volunteers have been up to in the past 3 months in the ward.

Interested in being a CHOC volunteer? Here’s how.

Do you have some  free time or know someone that does? Do you have a skill that you could use and share with mothers or their children? Would it give you joy  to be allowed the opportunity to have an impact in the life of a child with cancer or a life threatening blood disorder?

Here are 5 easy steps how….

  1. Email Ntobeko on zama@choc.org.za and she will send you an application form.
  2. Fill in the form and return the form to Ntobeko.
  3. Attend the compulsory volunteer introductory meeting
  4. Choose the type of volunteering that will work best for your schedule.
  5. Inform Ntobeko of your decision…and you are a CHOC volunteer J

“Doing good to others is not a duty it is a joy, for it increases your own health and happiness.”

Fight like a child

FIGHT LIKE A CHILD

15  February is  International Childhood Cancer Day!

WHAT IS ICCD?

International Childhood Cancer Day (ICCD) is celebrated around the  world each year on February 15. ICCD is a global collaborative campaign

created to raise awareness about childhood cancer, and to express support for children and adolescents with cancer, the survivors and their families.

The day promotes increased appreciation and deeper understanding of issues and challenges relevant to childhood cancer and impacting on children/adolescents with cancer, the survivors, their families and the society as a whole.

It also spotlights the need for more equitable and better access to treatment and care for all children with cancer, everywhere.

How ICCD came about

ICCD was founded by Childhood Cancer International (CCI), a global network of 188-member organizations in 96 countries – including South Africa. ICCD was first launched in 2002. Since then has generated the support of global networks and leading institutions such as: the World Health Organization, SIOP (International Society of Pediatric Oncology),St. Jude

Children’s Research Hospital, IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer), ICPCN (International Children’s Palliative Care Network) and CLAN (Caring and Living Among Neighbours), among others.

Childhood Cancer Statistics

Sadly according to CCI childhood cancer continues to be the leading cause of non-communicable related death in children throughout the world. Globally, more than 300,000 children are diagnosed with cancer each year with about 1000 new cases in our country alone.

Many childhood cancers have a higher survival rate when diagnosed early. Unfortunately, childhood cancers are sometimes overlooked or misdiagnosed because early symptoms are mistakenly attributed to more common injuries or illnesses due to lack of knowledge. To familiarise yourself with the early warning signs of childhood cancer.

Most common childhood cancers

Research from the US National Library of Medicine shows that ommon cancers in children are different from those found in  adults, most often occurring in the developing cells like bone marrow, blood, kidneys and nervous system tissues. Life- threatening blood disorders include haemophilia aplastic anaemia, thalassaemia and idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura. Despite being relatively rare, in Western countries childhood cancer is the second most common cause of death in children aged 5 to 14 years, after accidents, whilst in Africa it does not make it into the top 10 common causes.

According to the most recent South African Children’s Cancer Study Group (SACCSG) registry statistics, for 2009 to 2013, the five most common childhood cancers in South Africa are leukaemia, followed by lymphoma (tumours that begin in the lymph glands), then brain tumours, nephroblastomas, or Wilms tumours – cancer of the kidneys – and then soft tissue sarcomas, which are tumours that beginin the connective tissue.

Leukaemia comprises 25.4% of all  cancers,  which  is similar to rates in other countries. However, in developed countries brain tumours make up another 25% whilst in South Africa they only make up 13.4%. This discrepancy is thought to be due to under diagnosis, especially in rural  and smaller hospitals.

The power of creating a better future for children/adolescents with cancer lies in us and in what we do at present.

15 February, as we celebrate ICCD we urge you to wear blue along with the ICCD badge or heart  pin  to honor the extraordinary courage and strength of children with cancer, who at a very young age, have to go through a long, arduous and painful treatment.

Let us recognise and support incredible determination and tenacity of their parents and families, who do everything humanly possible to save the lives of their children.

visit www.choc.org.za for a list of items on sale for ICCD 2017