International Childhood Cancer Day (ICCD)

International Childhood Cancer Day (ICCD) | CHOC South Africa
International Childhood Cancer Day (ICCD) is a global collaborative campaign to raise awareness about childhood cancer, and to express support for children and adolescents with cancer, the survivors and their families. ICCD is held on the 15th February and spotlights the need for more equitable access to treatment and care for all children with cancer, everywhere.
International Childhood Cancer Day (ICCD) | CHOC South Africa

Globally, every year, more than 400,000 children and adolescents below 20, are diagnosed with cancer. The rate of survival depends on the region, with at least 80% survival in most high-income countries but as low as 20% only in low- and middle-income countries. 

In South Africa, the South African Children’s Tumour Registry (SACTR) reports about 1000 new cases a year for children under the age of 16. This is an increase from 10 years ago. The survival rate of cancer in children in South Africa is around 55% and seems to be on the rise.

The Target Goal of the WHO Global Childhood Cancer Initiative is to eliminate all pain and suffering of children fighting cancer and achieve at least 60% survival for all children diagnosed with cancer around the world by 2030.

This represents an approximate doubling of the current cure rate and will save an additional one million children’s lives over the next decade.

There are many reasons why there is a huge disparity between high income and low- and middle-income countries.  Amongst these is the late or missed diagnosis of children and the high rate of abandonment due to either stigma or access to financial resources which allow the child to complete treatment.

What is the aim of ICCD?

 “The campaign encourages individuals and organisations to stand up and speak out for kids with cancer, survivors of cancer, and their families. It is a day where we can unite in solidarity, be advocates for childhood cancer and promote initiatives that promote the plight and needs of children and teenagers with cancer, their families and the survivor”, Taryn Seegers, Communications Coordinator.   The public can show their support to children and teenagers living with cancer by participating in CHOC’s 2nd Flip Flop Day Campaign on the 12th February 2021.  Flip Flop Day is an annual event and it is a day of fun and colour because although childhood cancer is in no way light hearted, South Africans certainly are, and when it comes to our children we need to rally behind them, as CHOC SOLE-diers to truly show that we are a force to be reckoned with.

The campaign will be supported by PNA Stationers, one of South Africa’s largest and most successful retail stores, selling everything from stationery to art and craft materials, books and educational books; as well as Tekkie Town, retailer of the widest range of the best quality footwear at the best possible prices. The public will be able to pop into any of these stores nationwide, and grab their Flip Flop Day sticker. It’s simply never been easier to make a difference.

Visit for more information about how you can be part of CHOC’s 2021 Flip Flop Day!

Are you ready to flip?

CHOC Flip Flop Day

Start getting ready to have a heart and wear your soles, South Africa!

It’s almost time for CHOC’s 2nd annual Flip Flop Day. With YOUR help, it’s going to be bigger and better than before.

The brave children and teenagers of CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation will never stand alone in their fight against childhood cancer, and for only R10, you can slip on your flip flops and make a colourful stand with them, in a show of support.

Flip Flop Day 2021 – have a heart and wear a sole!

We’re taking over the nation, sole by sole, on 12 February 2021. Are YOU ready to join in?

To purchase your sticker, visit or pop into your local PNA or Tekkie Town store.

It’s simply never been easier to make a difference.

With a simple donation of R10, every South African can show their heart by wearing their soles! From classrooms to boardrooms, let’s walk in our flip flops for a day to highlight CHOC’s passionate purpose – our refusal to back down and let childhood cancer win. With the support of all of us, our children and teenagers fighting childhood cancer will know that they never have to stand alone.

Visit for more information about how you can be part of CHOC’s 2021 Flip Flop Day!

Childhood Cancer Network South Africa Working Together During Covid-19

CHOC and CCNA Against Covid-19

Childhood Cancer Netword South AfricaNational lockdown and the threat of COVID-19 over the past 9 months have certainly painted a different picture for us all. The goal of Childhood Cancer Network SA is to collaborate for the benefit of children with cancer and their families. This came to fruition during this trying time as stakeholders continued to play their vital roles, despite navigating multiple constraints: a lack of information, limited access to medication and no communication from government, to name a few.

Challenges We Faced

Possibly the greatest difficulty was to effectively manage the needs of the patients with cancer. Their increased susceptibility to infection because of their immunosuppressed status, due to both the disease and their treatment, was a formidable concern. Across our organisations, it was clear that the focus was to ensure that all patients on treatment received their treatment, and were admitted if necessary.

Currently, patients with COVID-19 are prioritised. This may have had major negative impacts on delayed cancer diagnosis, investigations, and cancer treatment including chemotherapy, surgery and radiation. Professor Janet Poole, Principal Paediatrician of Paediatric Haematology/Oncology at CMJAH, said that follow-up patients had to be triaged. Patients not receiving active treatments were given appointments later in the year, in the hope that we would not miss anything,” she said.

The reality was that all this was hampered by constantly changing policies and procedures within the hospital environment, coupled with staff that were under a lot of stress. In addition, the initial support of the social workers, volunteers, and activities normally done, was lost. Parents and caregivers were restricted to one person attending clinic and rooming in, and this caused much distress to the families and staff alike. The ‘child-friendly’ environment was lost.

Working Together to Keep Hope Alive

Fortunately, CHOC’s psychosocial team were soon able to be actively involved in the wards. They continued to deliver nurturing care and support to the children, teens and their families. The medical teams relied strongly on their professional assistance, as did members of the Childhood Cancer Network. The Rainbows and Smiles Foundation and other members of the Childhood Cancer Network delivered food parcels and donations to the hospital entrances and CHOC social workers distributed them on their behalf.

Lifting the COVID-19 Stigma to Prevent Delays in Diagnosis

Another large concern was for families who were reluctant to take their children to the doctor due to the COVID-19 risk. A delay in diagnoses could result in more advanced cancer that is harder to treat. Efforts were put in place to create awareness around breaking down barriers and lifting the stigma that can quickly emerge during a time of crisis. This included talking honestly and encouraging safety protocols, spreading the facts, showing empathy and kindness and challenging myths.

Prof. Poole clarified some of these myths:

  • She reiterated that children are far less likely than adults to be infected by COVID-19,
  • that the risk of severe COVID-19 disease in children with cancer across the world remains low.
  • that there is also evidence to suggest that children do not spread COVID-19 in the same way as adults, and
  • that child to child transmission is rare.


Receiving Treatment and Staying Informed

Professor Gita Naidu, Head of Paediatric Oncology at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital at the University of the Witwatersrand, mentioned that research articles say that children with cancer may display an increased vulnerability to poorer outcomes with COVID-19, while receiving therapy.

While still positive, her message to patients with childhood cancer and their families is to stay informed of the facts. She quoted the following from research that calls for careful consideration if undergoing therapy [1]:

  1. Surgery
  • Research shows that oncology surgery should not be postponed if there is rapid progress, impairment of organ function or any life-threatening situation. [2]
  • Due to the current shortage of blood products and ICU beds, these must be factored in to the risk-benefit assessment for surgery.
  1. Chemotherapy
  • There is no data available regarding delaying chemotherapy in asymptomatic patients infected with COVID-19.
  • For aggressive cancer, the risk-benefit assessment must be considered and treatment must proceed if the benefit outweighs the risk.
  • Maintenance chemotherapy should be changed to oral chemotherapy and telephonic consultations between doctors and patients should be used to monitor patients. Weekly chemotherapy doses could be omitted and dose reductions could be considered [3].
  1. Radiotherapy
  • Paediatric Oncology patients require radiation therapy, and this again is protocol based. Delays may adversely affect long-term outcomes.


Coming Together During Times of Crisis

Financially, very few organisations have been able to escape the negative impact of the pandemic. As challenging as the last few months have been, CCNSA has been spurred on to work together as a collective group, to ensure that every child with cancer or a life-threatening blood disorder receives the best support: access to treatment, essential medicine and palliative care.

CHOC is part of the Childhood Cancer Network in SA. We came together as a collective group in 2016 to work together for the benefit of the children with cancer and their families, not to duplicate services, but rather to address gaps. Although everyone has different roles, our hearts are all in the same place – to fulfil the purpose of supporting children and teens with cancer and life-threatening blood disorders, and their families.

CHOC would like to thank Prof. Janet Poole, Prof. Gita Naidu, Bonita Suckling (Rainbows and Smiles Foundation) and Adri Ludick for their input. 


  1. Kutikov A, Weinberg DS, Edelman MJ, Horwitz EM, Uzzo RG, Fisher RI. A War on Two Fronts: Cancer Care in the Time of COVID-19. Ann Intern Med 2020; 172(11):756-758.
  2. Tan J, Yang C. Prevention and control strategies for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. Br J Cancer 2020:1-2
  3. Garg V, Bakhshi S, Gupta G, Pushpam D. Managing Pediatric Cancer Patients in COVID19 Pandemic. Indian J Pediatr 2020:1.


Believe in Me

Believe in me CHOC
Believe in me CHOC

It’s that wonderful time of the year again where magic and excitement fill the air. People everywhere connect through a spirit of anticipation as the holiday season draws closer. It’s a time of hope and giving – a time of preparation and significance.

There is a special group of children who never stop believing – they believe they will get better and beat cancer, that they will soon be able to be children again. They live in the hope that they will run, play, laugh and live. They believe that the hurt will stop and that they will soon overcome the scary hurdles they are facing. These intrepid children believe everything’s going to be ok.

As we continue to strive to do the work we love for the children and teens in our care, we appeal to you for your generosity. By donating to CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation South Africa, the high level of care and support we offer can be maintained. There are over 1736 children in our care. Their families and caregivers, the medical and nursing staff, counsellors and many others all do their utmost to continue to be that flame of hope.

Our work spans across many areas: CHOC accommodation facilities offer a home away from home for children and their parents/caregivers during treatment and follow up visits. The psychosocial team does amazing work for the children, their parents and family members, as well as support to the medical and nursing staff. Basic necessities such as care bags, food parcels and bereavement support are made available for the children and their families. And all come at a cost.

CHOC is the only organisation that provides comprehensive countrywide support for children with cancer and other life-threatening blood disorders. At this festive time of year, we need you to believe in our noble cause and make a donation. We cannot do it without your generous support!

Please support our cause and help make it possible for us to make a difference in the lives of children and teens with cancer.

Benefits of Donating to CHOC: Social Economic Development (SED)

CHOC SED Spend Blog

CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation is the only organisation in South Africa that provides comprehensive countrywide support for children with cancer and other life-threatening blood disorders, and their families.

We can’t do it without YOU!

Why Donate to CHOC?


We are a Non-Profit Organisation and rely on funds donated by individuals, companies, trusts and foundations. 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.

Benefits to Donors

Cash donations qualify for a tax deduction and CHOC will issue the relevant documentation to donors within a four-week period.

This will ensure that you, as the donor, can:

An entity may obtain a maximum of 5 SED points for spending a maximum of 1% of its net after tax profit on SED contributions.

The donation of services or donations of any reciprocal nature do not qualify for a tax deduction.

To download a Section18A request form, please click here.

SED Certification

All cash donations made to CHOC qualify as a Social Economic Development assistance as defined by the BBEEE Codes of Good Practice.

Click here to view our B-BBEE status

CHOC has a SED certificate which has been assessed and certified by an independent auditor.

View the independent verification of our beneficiary profile here.


Banking Details – National Office

CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation
Standard Bank
Killarney Branch
Current Account: 20 027 806 1
Branch code: 00 72 05

Click here to visit our contact page to find the banking details for our regional CHOC Offices.


Contact us to find out more about donating to CHOC, or to request more information.

Telephone: 086 111 3500
e-mail: [email protected]

Physical Address
45 Homestead Road,
The Avenues Office Park
Syringa Building,
Rivonia, 2128

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.


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.”


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 [email protected] or purchase directly from our online 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

To get involved with CHOC, visit 

References: 1.  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:

If you would like to be part of The CHOC Cows, please email Daisy on [email protected] and let her know that you’d like to join the herd.

For more information on The CHOC Cows, visit

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

To get involved with CHOC, visit

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 [email protected]

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

To get involved with CHOC, visit

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:


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.


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:


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:

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 [email protected]

The CHOC Cows

Be part of putting the FUN in FUNDraising.

Join the CHOC Cows


CHOC relies on the time, expertise and help from its volunteers. To become a volunteer, email us on  [email protected] or visit  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

To get involved with CHOC, visit

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:

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.


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.


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

To get involved with CHOC, visit