Importance of Identifying the Early Warning Signs

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Importance of Identifying the Early Warning Signs

for children and teenagers who may have cancer

In a small hospital room, a five-month old child lay, surrounded by worried parents. The child’s stomach bore the weight of a rapidly growing mass on its right side. The parents had noticed the change and rushed their little one to the hospital.

The doctors performed a biopsy and running tests. Their suspicions were confirmed: a Malignant Rhabdoid Tumour had taken root in the child’s abdomen. It was a rare and aggressive form of cancer.

The parents held strong beliefs in traditional medicine and hoped it would aid their child’s recovery.

They pleaded with surgeons to remove only the tumour and stabilise their little one.

Despite being informed of the risks, they committed to taking responsibility for healing their child post-surgery. The mother, a traditional healer, and the father, a pharmacist, believed they were bewitched and that their child’s condition was a result of witchcraft.

Following the successful tumour removal, a grim reality emerged. The child not only had the tumour but also suffered from a severe infection affecting multiple organs — the brain, liver, kidneys, and heart. His condition deteriorated rapidly, leading to sepsis in the lungs and blood, ultimately resulting in cardiac arrest. Despite resuscitation efforts, the child’s organs failed to fully recover, and the doctors concluded that further interventions would be futile.

Tragically, the child passed away in the critical care ward. The devastated family had hoped their traditional methods would help him recover. They received psychosocial support and bereavement counselling during this difficult time. The father expressed gratitude for the compassionate care provided by CHOC, particularly from the Psychosocial Team. He pledged to stay connected with other families affected by childhood cancer, navigating life after loss.

This heartbreaking case underscores the critical importance of recognising the Early Warning Signs of Childhood Cancer. When symptoms persist, seeking prompt medical attention can significantly improve outcomes and potentially save lives. CHOC offers valuable resources and information to empower parents and caregivers in identifying suspicious symptoms and seeking timely medical help.

To learn more about the Childhood Cancer Early Warning Signs and how they can make a difference, visit CHOC’s website: Childhood Cancer Early Warning Signs.

Early detection can be the first step towards effective treatment and better outcomes for children and teenagers facing cancer.

Refer a child or teen here


Embracing Diversity and Making a Difference 

A Teacher’s Journey

I’m Abigail Evert, a 25-year-old Grade 1 English teacher from South Africa and I proudly call Budapest my home. Since the end of 2021, I’ve been teaching through the Bilingual Program in a charming school outside of Budapest. Let me tell you, it’s been quite an adventure!

One of the things I cherish most about my job is the opportunity to open up the world to my students. Through the Bilingual Programme, we’re not just teaching lessons; we’re sharing cultures, traditions, and experiences. It’s a beautiful exchange that enriches both teacher and student alike.

From Halloween to St. Patrick’s Day, Pancake Day to Valentine’s Day, we’ve been on a whirlwind tour of celebrations from around the globe. But one event holds a special place in our hearts at our school: Flip Flop Day. Now in its second year, this tradition is more than just a fun day; it’s a symbol of hope and solidarity.

It all started with my dear friend Jessica Tait, who, despite facing her own battles with childhood cancer, shared the magic of Flip Flop Day with her students at her school in Budapest 4 years ago. Inspired by her courage and determination, I knew I had to carry on the tradition.

And so, with enthusiasm and a heart full of purpose, I asked my fellow Bilingual teachers to join me in supporting the CHOC, an organisation dedicated to helping children and teenagers facing cancer and life-threatening blood disorders.

We sold stickers on Flip Flop Day, wore blue to show our support, and educated our students about the incredible work of the CHOC. The responses were overwhelming as together, across six classes, we raised R4000!

But more than the money raised, it was the spirit of unity, love, and compassion that filled our school that day. From the excitement of students coming to school in flip flops to the heartfelt conversations about making a difference, it was a day we’ll never forget.

So here’s to Flip Flop Day, to Jessica, to every teacher who joined in, and to the beautiful souls who remind us every day that a little kindness goes a long way. As we eagerly await the next chapter in 2025, we’ll continue to educate our children on all that happens in the World.

And to my fellow teachers – Jessica, Jené, Devon, Nqobile, Victoria, Lana, Ashley, Jessie, and Zahra – thank you for your unwavering dedication and for making a difference in the lives of our students and beyond. You’re all an inspiration and someone that our classes look up to.

With love and gratitude,

Abigail Evert

 

  


Cape Town Cycle Tour and Two Oceans Marathon

We had a fantastic turnout for both events this year. At the Cape Town Cycle Tour, over 20 riders hit the streets for CHOC, gaining attention as Ethan Simpson completed the race as the youngest person ever to ride a unicycle. Their efforts raised over R65,000 for our cause, showcasing their amazing dedication always.

At the Two Oceans Marathon, we had 10 Cows running the Ultra and 30 participating in the half marathon. While awaiting the final fundraising totals, we estimate around R40,000 raised from entry sales and individual fundraisers. If you would like to be a part of this AMOOZING race with the herd in 2025 send Daisy an email to be added to the waiting list as entries sell out faster than Gerda Steyn’s Two Oceans Record!

In other meadows

A group of brave cows took on the challenge of the 5km Goxhill Lake Cold Open Water Swim in the KZN Midlands. Despite the chilly water, our crazy moos powered through with big smiles on their faces.

Meanwhile, at the aQuelle Tour Durban, our herd was out in full force, representing across all age groups. Our dedicated Cow Sweeps ensured that even the last two lady cyclists made it home safely in the scorching heat.

Eli, who cycled with his mom Kjersti, dedicated his ride to his big brother Axel, a childhood cancer survivor, and for his auntie and all the children at CHOC. With his bestie, Fezile Bhengu, cheering him on, nothing was going to stop him.

A big thank you to all the schools who manned the many water stations on route. Your spirit and encouragement kept the cyclists going, super job!!

Special thanks to CMH Nissan Ballito for their incredible support at the Umdloti water station, keeping our herd hydrated and motivated! 

Congratulations to each and every one of you for your incredible efforts, for representing the Herd and keeping more than hope alive.

Coming up

The Comrades Marathon is happening on the 9th of June 2024 and our herd is bigger than ever!

Currently, we have 320 runners signed up, having raised over R900,000 to date. With three weeks remaining for runners to reach their R6,000 targets and qualify for the CC seeding batch, we anticipate surpassing the million mark very soon. Our target for 2024 is R2million and we know our super herd will do their utmost to achieve this! We are always looking for volunteers to assist at our two water stations on race day so if you are in and around Durban or Pietermaritzburg and want to join in the fun and cheer the runners on, pop Daisy an email today!

Join our Herd!


The beginning of CHOC

It all began with a simple need: a kettle, some toys for the little ones, and a fridge. The modest origins of CHOC belie the incredible journey that followed, spurred by a handful of mothers pondering, “What can we do?”

Wards 294 and 286 at Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital stand as havens for children diagnosed with cancer and blood disorders. Picture a typical Monday morning in 2020: bustling wards, dedicated staff, and a visiting clown crafting whimsical balloon shapes for the young patients.

These spaces burst with vibrant hues. Caregivers have their own sanctuary, equipped for brewing comforting beverages or preparing special meals. Despite the clinical setting, CHOC has infused the wards with warmth and cheer, transforming them into inviting sanctuaries. Contrast this with 1979, when the children’s cancer ward transitioned from the Transvaal Memorial Institute to the newly minted Johannesburg General Academic Hospital, now known as the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital, characterised by its clinical austerity.

But that was just the beginning of a remarkable journey…

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

Copyright © 2024, CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation SA. All rights reserved. Read our Privacy Policy here.
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A Journey of Courage and Resilience

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A Journey of Courage and Resilience

Glory Nanungu’s Story

Glory’s childhood was marked by curiosity and determination. As she recalls, “I have always been an intelligent, healthy, and extroverted child who enjoys meeting new people.” Her zest for life and love for learning set her apart from an early age.

Family First: Family is at the core of Glory’s world. Her father, strict but supportive, guides her through schoolwork, while her fun-loving mother engages in playful moments with Glory and her siblings. Their bond is unbreakable — a source of strength during both ordinary days and unforeseen challenges.

A Painful Discovery: In January 2022, Glory’s life took an unexpected turn. Excruciating stomach pain led her to the hospital, where scans revealed a lump in her kidneys.

Surgery became inevitable. The tumour grew rapidly, causing discomfort akin to pregnancy. But Glory’s resilience shone through.

A Battle Begins: June 2022 brought both relief and heartache. Successful surgery removed the tumour, yet the doctor delivered the bad news: traces of cancer cells were found in Glory’s kidney, lungs, and liver. The path ahead was daunting — chemotherapy and radiation awaited her.

“My mother cried every day,” recalls Glory. “But I had faith in the doctors. They worked tirelessly to restore my health.” Her unwavering spirit became a beacon of hope for her family.

A Safe Haven: Glory’s journey led her to the CHOC House, a sanctuary for children battling cancer and blood-related disorders. Here, she found solace — a place that felt like home. Welcoming staff, a comfortable bed, nourishing meals, and camaraderie with fellow families eased her burden.

“My arrival at the CHOC House was very pleasant,” says Glory. “I knew I wasn’t alone in this fight”.

A Dream Unfolds: Despite her trials, Glory remains steadfast. As a library prefect in school, she immerses herself in books, dreaming of a future where she can make a difference. Her aspiration? To become a doctor — one who heals, comforts, and brings hope to others.

Glory Nanungu’s story reminds us that courage knows no bounds. In the face of adversity, she stands tall, a testament to resilience and the power of community. Let us rally behind her, celebrating her journey and believing in brighter tomorrow.

Glory’s journey continues, and we are honored to share it with you.

Click here to support our Home for the Holidays Campaign


International Childhood Cancer Day

15 February 2024

International Childhood Cancer Day also known as ICCD, is a global collaborative campaign to raise awareness about childhood cancer.
CHOC was honoured to have been involved in a joint Press Release, written by The Department of Health in collaboration with SAAPHO, and the World Health Organization (WHO).
The National Department of Health (NDoH) urges health care workers and communities to be aware of the SILUAN Early Warning Signs for Childhood Cancer. This will allow for early detection and effective management of childhood cancers which will result in better outcomes.
 
Read our joint press release here

The ICCD theme for the next 3 years is Addressing Challenges of childhood cancer.

  • 2024 Unveiling the challenges,
  • 2025 Inspiring action,
  • 2026 Demonstrating impact.

2024 is about the collection of challenges and inequalities encountered by those navigating the complex childhood cancer landscape in South Africa.

We are honoured to listen to the Heads of Paediatric Oncology Units in SA as they share their challenges in their regions with us. During the year we will keep this theme top of mind as we advocate for children and teenagers who have been diagnosed with childhood cancer to keep more than hope alive. We call on you to share your challenges and be a voice for childhood cancer.

 
Watch our ICCD video here

 
 

A Moosive Midmar Mile Thank you!

Ten years of The Cows at MidMar

The annual aQuelle 8-mile charity event consistently outdoes itself, thanks to our incredible team of swimmers—the CHOC Cows—who participate as a united herd. These dedicated swimmers come from all corners of the country, aiming to enjoy two days of camaraderie while raising funds.

The 8-mile swim is no small feat; it demands resilience and determination. Yet, amidst the physical strain, not a single complaint is heard. Some swimmers even go beyond the charity event, swimming an additional 8 miles. A special mention goes to Jason Raath, who dons a cow suit, races to the starting line, swims the distance, and then repeats the entire process.

Our youngest swimmer, Nthoesane Siyazingca, proudly represented CHOC. Jayde Fouche, our national CHOC Daisy, and Iris Varty, our Durbs Daisy, also participate. Jayde’s dedication during Georgina Bains’ birthday week touched our hearts. The CHOC Cows embody a passion for children with cancer, and we’re honored to have Jo-Anne Barnard, an Accountant and top fundraiser, swimming for CHOC. Over the years, Jo-Anne has raised an impressive R800,000 for this cause.

Each swimmer radiated goodness and kindness, channelling their love for open water events to raise awareness for children battling cancer. We take immense pride in our CHOC Cows and appreciate their unwavering support

To join the 8 Mile group, please click here






 
 
If you would like to join any sporting events for CHOC click here to email Daisy
 

Nutrition Week

How can you get involved

Did you know that Nutrition Week is celebrated each year during March, and focuses on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. 

Food parcels form part of CHOC’s support programmes. 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.

 

Food parcels are also distinguished from food donations which are handed out to children, teens, and families in the form of e.g., packed lunches (“padkos”). 

In the 2022 – 2023 Financial year 986 people benefitted from these packed meals.
 
Click here to contribute to our food parcels

Awareness Update

How can you get involved

We’re thrilled to share the success of our recent two-day training workshop held on February 13-14 for managers across various departments within the Northwest Department of Health. This event attracted 26 managers from diverse divisions and subdistricts within the Bojanala Department of Health, including cluster managers, School Health Nurses, Regional Training Centre managers, District Pediatricians, Local Area Managers, Outreach Teams Managers, and more.

During the workshop, a consensus emerged regarding the inclusion of Early Warning Signs of Childhood Cancer in the IMCI manual in Gauteng. It was unanimously agreed that the template could significantly aid Northwest Province in preventing the oversight of children who may be at risk of cancer.

Following the workshop, our efforts extended to a targeted training initiative aimed at Community Health Workers across the subdistricts in Bojanala. Led by our dedicated CHOC Community Trainers, Sylvia Mdluli (a retired Peadiatric Oncology Nurse) and Zukiswa Mukwevho (a Childhood Cancer Survivor), we successfully reached 204 Community Health Workers in four subdistricts. Notably, this is just the beginning, as there are a total of 1200 Community Health Workers in the district. We are grateful for the commitment of their managers to ensure that all workers receive training on the SILUAN Early Warning Signs of Childhood Cancer.

This collaborative endeavor underscores our shared dedication to improving healthcare outcomes and ensuring the well-being of children in the Northwest Province.

Together, we can make a significant impact in identifying and addressing childhood cancer early on.


If you would like to become a volunteer trainer for CHOC please contact Rila Mabasa on 011 326 1717
 

Stay tuned as we take all that small change given to make a big difference! It has been an extraordinary year, and we’re eagerly anticipating sharing our achievements with you

For any information about Flip Flop Day, please email us here!

Welcome to 2024

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Welcome to 2024

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Message from our Chairman, Eugene Subban

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Welcome back to everyone as we embark on a new year!

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I hope each of you enjoyed a fantastic festive break and you are ready to face the fresh challenges that 2024 brings. 

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Reflecting on the past year, CHOC has successfully achieved many of the goals we set for ourselves.

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The continuous effort against cancer remains a central focus of our mission, and each individual at CHOC plays a crucial role in addressing this challenge.
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​​​​​​​​​CHOC’s remarkable impact, surpassing mere hope, is attributed to the collective efforts of our Human Resources, including our dedicated staff, volunteers, donors, and the parents who contribute to our cause. With confidence, I believe that our collaborative efforts will exceed the expectations we’ve set for ourselves in 2024.

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A heartfelt thank you to each one of you for your unwavering dedication and contributions.

​​​​​​​​​Yours in Hope,
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Journey of Phenyo and His Mother, Dipuo

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Story from our CHOC House in Bloemfontein

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In June, Phenyo confronted a significant shift in his life when he was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor. Originally from Galeshewe in Kimberley, Northern Cape, he underwent surgery at the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital in July.

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Throughout this emotionally demanding period, his mother, Dipuo, consistently stood by his side, offering unwavering and heartfelt support. Following the surgery, Phenyo was transferred back to Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe Hospital in Kimberley to commence his radiation treatment, highlighting the depth of their connection.
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​​​​​​​​​​​​However, the required treatment was not available in the Northern Cape, demanding Phenyo’s journey to Universitas Annex Hospital in the Free State. The nature of radiation being an outpatient service presented an additional challenge – finding secure accommodation for the next six weeks.

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It was during this time that they learned about CHOC House Bloemfontein, a compassionate haven providing not only free accommodation but also essential transportation support to families in need.

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Upon arrival, Dipuo, initially overwhelmed with anxiety, found comfort in the warm embrace of the CHOC House staff. To her relief, she discovered that all services at CHOC are offered free of charge. Settling into their temporary home seamlessly, Dipuo actively engages in various activities designed for parents, cultivating a profound sense of community and support.

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Presently, Phenyo’s treatment progress is going well, and our dedicated staff remains committed in ensuring the emotional well-being of the entire family during this challenging time.
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Discover the Impact of 13 CHOC Houses Across South Africa

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Supporting Families in Their Cancer Journey 

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As the new year begins, patients and their families returned to the 13 CHOC houses located on eleven properties across South Africa. These houses are situated in close proximity to tertiary hospitals with Pediatric oncology units. Each house has dedicated staff augmenting the treatment, by providing our families with nutritional meals, safe environments, and a parent-to-parent support system.
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All benefits are free, regardless of a patient’s and their family’s background. The treatment journey is stressful, and our donors support us to alleviate the financial burden for families undergoing this challenging cancer treatment.
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​​​​​​​​​If you wish to learn more about the houses, click here for their addresses.
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Awareness Update

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What to expect in 2024 from our Awareness and Education team

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Join us on an impactful journey with CHOC’s Awareness Training and Education Programme.

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The Sibanye Platinum Mine training and awareness project in Bojanala District, Northwest has officially started. In December we met with the Regional Training Centre [RTC] of Bojanala District Department of Health to plan the rollout of the project. The RTC is the custodian of all training interventions within the Department of Health. In January, 23 managers representing all five sub-districts and programmes were trained and oriented on the work that we do. 
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​​​​​​​​​​​​These included cluster managers, School Health Nurses, Regional Training Centre managers District Pediatrician, etc. Everyone warmly welcomed the programme and there was a unanimous commitment to open more doors for training at the facility level. The next step in the plan is to train the trainers. 

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Up to now, our ATE Programme has reached nearly 200 Health Care Professionals in three different Provinces: Mpumalanga, Gauteng and Northwest.

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Our training supports the Global Initiative on Childhood Cancer [GICC] goals, which is to reduce the suffering of children with cancer and achieve a cancer survival rate of at least 60% by 2030.

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CHOC Meeting with Managers of Different programs in the Department of Health in Bojanala District [December 2023]

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CHOC Community Trainer, Brenda Herbert, training Department of Health Managers in Northwest
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Here’s an exclusive invitation: become a volunteer trainer for CHOC! Contact Rilaveta Mabasa at
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Above: CHOC Community Trainer, Sylvia Mdluli, training Enrolled Nurses in Chiawelo Clinic, Soweto

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Together, let’s make a difference and light up the path to a brighter future for our future generations!
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​​​​​​​​​To read more about the Siluan Warning Signs of Childhood Cancer, click here

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Flip Flop Day 2024

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Join us on Friday the 23rd of February to flip for childhood cancer
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Every February, Flippie makes his grand entrance, and it’s time to get the whole of South Africa on their feet—well, in their flip flops! Embrace the sunny vibes, make a difference, and grab a Flip Flop Day sticker for just R10. Stick it on and wear your flops on Flip Flop Day, which falls on Friday, 23rd February 2024.

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Teaming up for something awesome, you can buy your sticker at your nearby PNA or Tekkie Town. Don’t forget, you can also visit www.choc.org.za or swing by your local CHOC Regional Office to get in on the fun.

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Need more details? Simply send an email to [email protected]. Plus, every sticker sold is a cool way to support children and teens who have been diagnosed with childhood cancer!

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Ready to flip for a cause? Let’s flip for CHOC!
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Financial Year End – Tax Season

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What is a Section 18A and how does it benefit you

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Did you know that by making a donation to CHOC, you are not only helping us keep hope alive for children and teenagers living with cancer, but you are also able to benefit from your donation?

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CHOC is registered as a Public Benefit Organisation and has been approved to issue Section 18A certificates in terms of Section 18A of the Income Tax (Act 58 of 1962). This means that if you, as a taxpayer, or your company, make a bona fide donation in cash or in kind (material assets), this qualifies as a tax deductible expense.  However, the donation cannot exceed 10% of taxable income.

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The South African Revenue Service (SARS) determines a bona fide donation to be “a voluntary, gratuitous gift disposed of by the donor out of liberality or generosity, where the done is enriched and the donor impoverished. There may be no quid pro quo, no reciprocal obligations and no personal benefit for the donor. If the donee gives any consideration at all it is not a donation. The donor may not impose conditions which could enable him or any connected person in relation to himself to derive some direct or indirect benefit from the application of the donation”.

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This means that income received for the sale of merchandise, entry fee to participate in an event or campaign, the purchase of an auction item or the sponsorship of an event do not qualify for a Section 18A. However, CHOC is able to send you a Social Economic Development letter to the value of the funds paid over to CHOC.

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How do you get your Section 18A Certificate?

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  1. Make your cash donation if you haven’t already.
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  3. Download our Section 18A Request Form hereFor donations made via GivenGain or our secure giving platform on our website, simply tick the appropriate box on the form.
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  5. Send the completed form and your proof of payment to donations@choc.org.za
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Note: Section 18A Certificates can be issued for in-kind donations on receipt of supporting documentation required to verify the cost of the in-kind donation.  If items are purchased from a supplier the receipt and invoice will be sufficient. If items are donated from the company’s stock, then an invoice or supporting document reflecting the cost price will be required. The certificate will be issued with the total amount less VAT. These documents can be submitted with the Section 18A Request Form mentioned above.

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All queries regarding Section 18A Certificates, including requests, can be sent to [email protected].

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CHOC and Socio-Economic Development

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In order for your donation (both in-kind and monetary) to qualify for SED points you will need a letter from CHOC acknowledging when the contribution was received as well as a confirmation letter confirming that our beneficiaries are 75% Black (or more). CHOC will provide you with a competent third-party verification from our Auditor, as well as a Sworn Affidavit, issued on the Department of Trade and Industry’s required template.

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Thank you for your support and for believing in the work that CHOC does.

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A Decade of Making Waves

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10 Years of The CHOC Cows Swimming the aQuelle Midmar Mile

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In the picturesque province of KwaZulu-Natal, a unique herd emerged in August 2013 with a mission to make a difference.
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​​​​​​​​​​​​The KZN Herd of The CHOC Cows was founded, and little did they know that their first event in 2014, the aQuelle Midmar Mile, would mark the beginning of a decade-long journey filled with passion, camaraderie, and impactful fundraising.
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Dressed in distinctive cow prints, just over 30 swimmers made a splash at their inaugural Midmar Mile. Their presence was not only a visual spectacle but also a symbol of their commitment to raising funds for children with cancer. The bovine-inspired swimmers caught the attention of onlookers, leaving an indelible mark on the event.

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As the years unfolded, The CHOC Cows of KZN continued to grow their herd, both in numbers and impact. Each year, the aQuelle Midmar Mile became more than just a swimming event; it transformed into a symbol of hope and support for those battling cancer. The community rallied around the cause, and the cow-printed swimmers became synonymous with the spirit of giving.

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Fast forward to the present, and The CHOC Cows of KZN are gearing up for their 10th Dam Crossing. The journey from a modest herd of 30 to a formidable force in fundraising has been nothing short of remarkable. The commitment of these swimmers to don their cow prints year after year, braving the waters of Midmar Dam, speaks volumes about their dedication to the cause.

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Over the past decade, The CHOC Cows have become a beacon of inspiration, raising funds that directly impact the lives of children battling cancer. The money raised goes towards vital initiatives, such as transport to and from treatments, psychosocial support for families, housing during treatment, food parcels and most importantly creating awareness about childhood cancer.

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As the 10th Dam Crossing approaches in just three weeks, the anticipation is palpable. The KZN Herd of The CHOC Cows is not only celebrating a milestone in their swimming journey but also a decade of making a meaningful impact on the lives of those in need. The cow print swimmers, once a small group with a big heart, have become a symbol of hope, resilience, and the power of community.

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In a world often filled with challenges, The CHOC Cows of KZN remind us that simple gestures, like swimming a mile in cow print, can make a significant difference. Their story is a testament to the enduring spirit of giving, proving that when a community comes together with a shared purpose, they can create ripples of change that extend far beyond the waters of Midmar Dam.

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To get involved with The CHOC Cows, please contact Daisy on [email protected] or visit www.thecows.co.za.
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To spread hope, follow us on the social media platforms below

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Our mailing address is: ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​45 Homestead Road ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The Avenues Office Park ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Syringa Building ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Rivonia ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​2128

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Email: ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​[email protected] ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Tel: ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​086 111 3500

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Copyright © 2024, CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation SA. All rights reserved. ​​​​​​​​​​​​ ​​​​​​​​​​​​Read our Privacy Policy here.
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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

Make a Difference This Festive Season

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CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation SA will be closed from the 22nd of December to the 1st of January 2024Email not displaying correctly?
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Reflecting on 2023: A Year of Endless Opportunities and Inspirations

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CHOC CEO, Hedley Lewis

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In 2023, I discovered boundless opportunities for inspiration. The resilience exhibited by our patients and their families became a wellspring of motivation. Each day, the dedication of hospital executives, peadiatric oncologists, and our multidisciplinary team in their pursuit of the life-saving mission left me in awe.

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Amidst economic challenges, our donors demonstrated unwavering commitment, delving deep to provide crucial support. My heart swelled with gratitude for the tireless efforts of volunteers at the Board level, the compassionate contributions from The CHOC Cows, and the invaluable support from hospital volunteers who stood steadfastly by our side, enriching our collective capacity. Thank you to our CHOC Staff who make a difference every day and continue to fulfill their roles with incredible passion!

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To every individual who exceeded expectations, inspiring me and making an incredible difference in 2023, I extend heartfelt thanks on behalf of the entire CHOC family.
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​​​​​​​​​Your dedication has been the heartbeat of our shared mission.
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​​​​​​​​​Hedley Lewis
​​​​​​​​​CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation SA CEO

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Meet Kamohelo and his Shadow Buddy!

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Kamohelo, a brave 9-year-old boy who was diagnosed with Leukaemia in March. His treatment journey began at Universitas Hospital, but after careful consideration by the medical team, CHOC Regional Manager, and Social Worker, it was decided that Kamohelo and his mother would stay at the CHOC House during his treatment.

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Despite his condition, he loves exploring and participating in activities. His favorite pastime is organising all the scooters so that all the children can enjoy riding them. He’s a helpful young boy, always coming up with plans to make things easier for the house staff during cleaning. Additionally, he has taken an interest in learning other languages like Afrikaans, English, and Xhosa.
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​​​​​​​​​Social Worker Maria Mtonxa conducted a session with Kamohelo, using a shadow buddy to explain his diagnosis and explore his emotions. Initially, he felt very sick and scared during his hospital stay and treatment. However, now that he’s at the CHOC House, where he can play freely and be away from the restrictive hospital environment, Kamohelo is responding well to his treatment.
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Flip Flop Day 2024

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Stand together, shoulder to sole with Flippie by buying your sticker for R10 so that the brave children and teenagers of CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation South Africa will never stand alone again in their fight against childhood cancer!

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Purchase your Flip Flop Day Stickers Here
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MacSteel’s Generous Support Shines on Flip Flop Day 2023

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We extend our heartfelt gratitude to MacSteel for being a standout supporter of Flip Flop Day 2023! Your enthusiastic participation has truly made a significant impact, and we are thrilled to share the exciting ways in which your team contributed to the festivities.

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As staunch advocates for our cause and CHOC Gauteng South, MacSteel generously purchased 3000 stickers, amounting to a total value of R30,000. These stickers were thoughtfully distributed to all MacSteel Branches nationwide, fostering widespread engagement in our mission.

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MacSteel staff were encouraged to showcase their creativity by finding unique ways to wear their flip flops, sparking conversations about cancer awareness within their teams. The results were nothing short of fantastic, with standout performances from individuals who truly embraced the spirit of the day.
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​​​​​​​​​Thank you for making Flip Flop Day 2023 a resounding success, MacSteelers! Your dedication and enthusiasm have not only elevated the event but also contributed significantly to our ongoing efforts in the fight against cancer.We look forward to your continued support and participation in the years to come. 

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Our Flip Flop day is an event aimed at raising awareness about childhood cancer. We would be delighted to have many other companies join us in this noble cause. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of children fighting cancer.

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Flip Flop Day is proudly supported by:
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CHOC Updates:

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Our Awareness Team trains the IMCI Coordinators
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​​​​​​​​​​​​Effective training can that children reach specialised treatment centers, ensuring they receive timely and effective treatment, along with access to vital medication and care. Our team recently provided training to IMCI Coordinators across all five Health Districts in Gauteng. This training initiative was collaboratively organised by CHOC and the Gauteng Department of Health.
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​​​​​​​​​​​​To read more about our Awareness and Education Programme, click here
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Thank you to the donors in KZN

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​​​​​​​​​​​​CHOC expresses gratitude to the KwaZulu-Natal Deeds Registry Office and the KwaZulu-Natal Surveyor General for their generous support in bringing hope and dignity to children diagnosed with cancer.
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​​​​​​​​​​​​The team successfully raised a total of R3100 through various fundraising initiatives.
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​​​​​​​​​​​​To get involved with events and fundraising for CHOC click here
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Thank you to the SAPPI Women of Worth Team

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Our sincere appreciation goes out to the SAPPI Women of Worth team for their invaluable support during our Give Some Hope campaign in September. Under the leadership of their CFO, Pramy Moodley, and Community Relations Lead, Zee Zeka Ngcamu, the team successfully raised R5000 to contribute to bringing hope to children battling cancer.
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​​​​​​​​​​​​To get involved with events and fundraising for CHOC click here
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Well done to The CHOC Cows

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​​​​​​​​​​​​MOOSIVE THANK MOO to each and every super cow, donor and supporter who completed the 947 Ride Joburg this year!
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​​​​​​​​​​​​Thank you for supporting our cause and being AMOOZING. Ride Joburg wouldn’t be the same without each and every one of you! 
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​​​​​​​​​​​​To join the herd, click here
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There is still time to make a difference this year! 

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The festive season brings a time of warmth, togetherness, and joy – a moment when families gather, and hearts overflow with gratitude and hope. It is a season of giving, a time when our souls resonate with the spirit of generosity and kindness.

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For many children, celebrating the holidays at home surrounded by their loved ones is a cherished idea. At CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation SA, our mission is simple yet profound: to bring smiles to the faces of these young warriors by reuniting them with their families during this special time.

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We understand the significance of these moments and the hurdles many families encounter in making these reunions possible. Transport expenses can pose a substantial barrier, hindering the possibility of these children reuniting with their families during the holidays. That’s where we seek your support.

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Your generosity can transform the lives of these brave young souls. Your donation will help cover the costs of transportation, ensuring that these children, along with their caregivers, can journey home safely to spend precious moments with their families. It’s a gift of love, hope, and the creation of everlasting memories that these children will treasure for a lifetime.
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​​​​​​​​​Click here to donate to this campaign.

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Be the Light this Festive Season

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Childhood cancer presents an incredibly challenging path, one that is almost beyond comprehension. The idea of children and their families waking up and depending on battery-powered lanterns in such circumstances should also be inconceivable. Yet, in the face of our current challenges, this is the stark reality.

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CHOC has 13 home-away-from-home facilities that offer a safe, comfortable, and homely environment for the families during the lengthy and stressful cancer treatment phase. However, these facilities face the challenge of frequent power outages due to load-shedding, which affects the quality of life and comfort of the families.

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To address this problem, CHOC launched a solar campaign to install solar panels at its accommodation facilities. The solar panels provide a reliable and sustainable source of power for the CHOC houses, ensuring that the lights stay on even during load-shedding. The solar power also reduces the electricity bills and the carbon footprint of the facilities, making them more environmentally friendly.

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To donate towards this campaign, please click here.

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Every donation, no matter how big or small, makes a difference and helps us bring light and hope to these children and their families.

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Thank you for your kindness and generosity. Together, we can make this holiday season a memorable one for these children and their families.

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

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Our mailing address is: ​​​​​​​​​​​​CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation ​​​​​​​​​​​​45 Homestead Road ​​​​​​​​​​​​The Avenues Office Park ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Syringa Building ​​​​​​​​​​​​Rivonia ​​​​​​​​​​​​2128

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Email: ​​​​​​​​​​​​[email protected] ​​​​​​​​​​​​ ​​​​​​​​​​​​Tel: ​​​​​​​​​​​​086 111 3500

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​​​​​​​​​Copyright © 2023, CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation SA. All rights reserved. ​​​​​​​​​ ​​​​​​​​​Read our Privacy Policy here.
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Our Hope – October Newsletter

Hope is a powerful thing. It inspires us to do the impossible and helps us carry on during difficult times. Email not displaying correctly?
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Our Hope: to see every child celebrate the holidays with their loved ones.

We would like to send as many children home this holiday season because it gives them a chance to spend time with their loved ones and celebrate the festive season. Christmas is a special time of the year, when we share joy, gratitude, and hope with our family and friends. It is also a time of healing when we can find comfort and strength in each other’s presence and support.

For children with cancer, going home for the Festive Season can make a big difference in their well-being and recovery. It can help them feel normal, happy, and hopeful. It can also reduce their stress, loneliness, and anxiety. It will also create precious memories that they can cherish for a lifetime.

That’s why we at CHOC would like as many of our children to go home for the festive season. We know how important it is for them and their families to be together during this difficult time. We also understand how challenging it can be for many of them to afford the travel costs.

That’s why we are asking for your help to make this possible. You can donate to send a child home here. Your donation will help us cover the costs of public transport for our children and their caregivers. 

 

Thank you for helping CHOC give them a gift of love and hope. Thank you for making a difference in this season of giving.

From the heart of a parent staying at our CHOC

house in the Northern Region

“We would like to thank you all for welcoming us when we were down and didn’t know what to do because of my son’s condition. You welcomed us and made this journey an easier one. You never looked down on us. You made us believe that there is a second chance in life even though there is cancer. I was lost, but you made me feel like I was at my second home – you were my second family.

To my social worker – I took all my burdens to you, but you never judged me nor lost hope in my son and me. You kept me going and encouraged me in everything. To the kitchen staff – I appreciate everything you have done for us. I don’t remember my son and I ever going to bed with an empty stomach. You made sure that our stomachs were always full. To the transport staff – thank you very much for driving us to and from the hospital for treatment. To the office staff – your smiles and words of encouragement healed my son, and I really don’t know how to thank you all, but all I can say is: May the good Lord bless you more and more. You are indeed very good people, and I am glad that I came across such beautiful souls. I love you all and I will always remember you.”


Help CHOC to send families Home for the Holidays. It is such a special time and should be shared together with your loved ones! You can make a difference by donating to our Transport Programme!

 

Make a donation to our Transport Programme here

Raising Awareness and Inspiring Hope

Every child deserves a chance to live a healthy and happy life. But for some children, this chance is threatened by a silent enemy: childhood cancer. Childhood cancer is the leading cause of death by disease among children under 15 years old in South Africa. Many children are diagnosed too late, when the cancer has already spread and the treatment options are limited. Many families struggle to cope with the emotional, physical, and financial challenges of caring for a child with cancer.

That’s why we at CHOC are committed to creating awareness and educating communities about the early warning signs of childhood cancer and how to access the best possible care. We believe that by empowering people with knowledge and skills, we can make a difference in the lives of children and families affected by cancer.

Though our awareness and education programme CHOC trains various groups of people, such as 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.

We also conduct awareness campaigns in schools, clinics, churches, and other public places.

We are proud of the impact we have made recently through our awareness and education programme. Here are some examples of our achievements:

  • In Harry Gwala district, our team gave talks at 22 different events including schools between July and September.

  • Our community-based trainer in Ehlanzeni trained 618 individuals.

  • We joined forces with the University of Limpopo Projects, the Limpopo Health Department, and Polokwane Tertiary Hospital in September to raise awareness about childhood cancer. The event was a huge success, with 1200 people in attendance and a keynote speech by the MEC for Health.

  • In Ekurhuleni, we trained 50 IMCI practitioners in September thanks to the renewed collaboration with the Gauteng department of Health.

  • We trained 20 Health Care Professionals from various units and department at Universitas in Bloemfontein.

  • We organised a roadshow in the Northern Cape where we visited Upington and Postmasburg.

  • Our four CHOC Community Trainers in the Western Cape reached 8522 community members in various venues between July and August.

  • A training session for 105 professional nurses took place in Umthatha.

These are just some of that show how we are creating awareness, and nurturing hope among our communities. We are grateful for the support and collaboration of our partners, donors, volunteers, and beneficiaries who make our work possible.

But we know that there is still much more to be done. Childhood cancer remains a serious threat that needs urgent attention and action. We need your help to continue our mission and reach more children and families in need.

Create awareness around childhood cancer

This is what you can do to make a difference in the lives of children and teenagers who have been diagnosed with childhood cancer or a life-threatening blood disorder:

  • Share CHOC’s social media posts.
  • Post social media elements provided by CHOC on your company’s social media platforms.
  • Share the Siluan Early Warning Signs of Childhood Cancer on your employee communication platforms. You can find this here.
  • Make a donation to assist CHOC help the families we support here.

Mama Brenda in training Home-based care workers at Makuyu Clinic, Musina.

Muzi Ngwenya gave a talk to a
school at Makuya Primary School.

 Sylvia Mdluli trained Health Care Professionals in Upington.

Together, we can make a difference. Together, we can save lives. Together, we are CHOC.

Mangaung Childhood Cancer Awareness Walk

On September 30th, the inaugural Mangaung Childhood Cancer Awareness Walk made its mark in Mangaung (Bloemfontein). Community members congregated at the Mangaung Sport Centre, commencing the 5km awareness walk adorned in various shades of gold. Under the careful watch of the Mangaung Traffic Department, the participants embarked on the 5km journey while prioritising safety.

The event was enriched by poignant testimony from a cancer survivor, who shared her personal journey and highlighted the invaluable role that CHOC played, leaving attendees inspired and instilled with hope.

Remembering our Children, the Story of CHOC’s 

Remembrance Services

CHOC Remembrance Service is a special event that honours the memory of children who have passed away from cancer. It is a time to share music, prayers, words and tears with other bereaved families and friends.

The service was initiated by Lynda Schutte, a nursery school teacher and a CHOC volunteer since the 1980s. Lynda used to work in the ward at the former Johannesburg Hospital, where she witnessed the pain and loss of many parents and children. In 1993, she started a committee with two bereaved mothers, Terry Kravitz and Wendy Muller to organise the first remembrance service which was held at Brescia House gardens. Since then, the service has been held every year, usually on the last Sunday in November.

The committee, has in the meantime grown and is mainly composed of bereaved mothers, but also includes older siblings and a social worker. They ensure that the service is sensitive and supportive to the needs of the families. The Remembrance service is being replicated in other regions of the country.

Lynda believes that these services are important to remember our children who have gone too soon. She says: “We want to celebrate their lives and acknowledge their impact on us. We want to let them know that they are not forgotten and that they will always be in our hearts.”

 

Loba Coffee: A Delicious and Generous Brew!

Do you love coffee? If so, you’ll be thrilled to hear about the “Sustainable Giving Initiative” launched by Famous Brands Coffee Company. They have teamed up with five amazing charities that focus on children’s rights, well-being, health, and education, including CHOC.

Famous Brands Coffee Company believes that children are our future and they deserve respect, love, and care. That’s why they are donating a portion of the sales of every bag of Loba Coffee to these worthy causes.

By buying Loba Coffee, you are not only enjoying a delicious brew, but also making a difference in the lives of many children in need. So don’t wait, order your Loba Coffee today.

You can find your favourite Loba Coffee
her
e.

 

𝗡𝗲𝘄 𝗢𝗳𝗳𝗶𝗰𝗶𝗮𝗹 𝗖𝗼𝗺𝗿𝗮𝗱𝗲𝘀 𝗖𝗵𝗮𝗿𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗲𝘀 𝗔𝗻𝗻𝗼𝘂𝗻𝗰𝗲𝗱

We are immensely grateful to the Comrades Marathon for once again selecting us as one of their esteemed charities. Being a part of this remarkable event holds immeasurable significance for us.

The Comrades Amabeadibeadi Charity Drive stands as a remarkable force, having raised over R71 million for charity over the last 27 years. This outstanding achievement is a testament to the incredible generosity of Comrades Marathon runners, supporters, sponsors, and the broader community. Their selfless contributions have been pivotal to the success of this charity drive.

The chosen charities encompass a diverse range of social and environmental causes, addressing early childhood development, wildlife and environmental awareness, conservation of protected areas, combating gender-based violence and child abuse, as well as offering support for childhood cancer care and HIV/AIDS.

These organisations stand to significantly benefit from the CMA’s fundraising efforts over the upcoming three editions of the prestigious ultramarathon – the 2024, 2025, and 2026 races. It fills us with immense joy that CHOC has been selected once again. 

To each dedicated runner who has participated in past or intends to run in the future, we express our most sincere gratitude.

Your unwavering generosity will undoubtedly impact numerous lives, and for this, our appreciation knows no bounds.

 

To receive more information about running The Comrades, contact Daisy from the CHOC Cows here.

Give a Gift that Matters

Are you looking for a meaningful and unique gift for your loved ones this Christmas? Do you want to support a great cause while making a child smile? If so, you should check out the CHOC merchandise that is available online.

CHOC is a non-profit organisation that provides support to children with cancer and their families. CHOC also raises awareness and advocates for early detection and access to treatment. By buying CHOC merchandise, you are helping to improve the lives of many children in need.

You can choose from a variety of CHOC branded items, such as hats, mugs water bottles and lunch boxes.

CHOC merchandise is a great way to support CHOC. You can order your CHOC merchandise online at www.choc.org.za. 

Don’t miss this opportunity to make a difference in the lives of the many children that CHOC supports. Order your CHOC merchandise today and join us in creating awareness and nurturing hope.


What’s Coming up:

Western Cape

Vintage High Tea

Join CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation SA, Western Cape Region and Lancet Laboratories as we present a year-end Vintage High Tea fundraising event on Saturday, 4 November 2023. 

Click Here for More Information

Western Cape

Ayesha’s Weekend Aways

Ayesha Alexander has organised a generous initiative to support our Western Cape Region. Not only will you and your family enjoy a wonderful, family-friendly vacation, but you will also make a positive impact on the lives of the families we serve.  Click Here for More Information


Nationwide

Flip Flop Day 2024

Flip Flop Day is around the corner, mark your calendars to flip out for a good cause on Friday the 23rd of February 2024!  Contact: [email protected] for more information!

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

Copyright © 2022, CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation SA. All rights reserved.

Read our Privacy Policy here.

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Give Some Hope this September

International Childhood Cancer Awareness Month
#GiveSomeHope

As we celebrate International Childhood Cancer Awareness Month this September, we are thrilled to share our latest press release that highlights our commitment to making a difference in the lives of children and teenagers diagnosed with cancer and their families.
 
Read the full Press Release here
 
​​​​​​At CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation SA, we firmly believe that knowledge is power, and awareness is the first step towards change. This month, as we shine a spotlight on the brave young hearts diagnosed with cancer, we invite you to read our latest press release written by The Department of Health South Africa in collaboration with various local and international stakeholders including CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation South Africa and the World Health Organization (WHO).

#GiveSomeHope

Join us in raising awareness and making a difference. We encourage you to #GiveSomeHope by sharing our press release with your network, engaging in discussions about childhood cancer, and let's work together to ensure a brighter future for these young survivors.

New Merchandise

Have a look at our new Hope Merchandise, items exclusively sold by CHOC to make a difference! View our online shop here.

 

It takes a community
 
Bandile, and her mother, Dudu, made a heartfelt journey to the CHOC House on 27 March 2023, all the way from Vrede, a town nestled in the Eastern Free State, 400 kilometres from Bloemfontein. Their purpose was to seek medical evaluation for Bandile, who exhibited worrisome signs hinting at a potential brain tumour. Little did they know that both the hospital and CHOC House Bloemfontein would become their sanctuary for the coming months.

In April, a definitive diagnosis was finally reached, and treatment commenced. Sadly, Bandile's battle with cancer proved to be exceptionally fierce, despite the dedicated efforts of the medical team.
In Vrede, a group of devoted volunteers had rallied together, pledging unwavering support for patients and families navigating the daunting path of cancer. We reached out to them to share Bandile's story, and they wholeheartedly stepped in to assist the family. They provided crucial airtime, enabling Dudu to stay connected with her three children she had left behind while accompanying Bandile.

During this trying period, Dudu also lost her job, and the volunteers extended a helping hand by providing essential food supplies for her children back home. They organised a toiletry drive for CHOC House Bloemfontein and collected warm clothing not only for Bandile and Dudu but also for the families residing at the CHOC House.

Regrettably, Bandile's prognosis remained bleak, and with the invaluable guidance of our compassionate social worker, Maria, the decision was made to reunite Bandile with her family in Vrede. Upon their return, the volunteers promptly offered their support once more, ensuring that Bandile's needs for necessities like diapers and Ensure were met. They maintained regular visits to the family, keeping both Sonet (CHOC Regional Manager) and Maria informed.

The heartbreaking news reached us that Bandile had passed away. In hindsight, as a team, we had the privilege of showering her with love and support, even sharing in the celebration of her 9th birthday. The communities of Vrede and CHOC came together during this challenging time, demonstrating the power of unity, support, and love when it was needed most.
 
To refer a child or teen, click here
To view the Siluan Early Warning Signs, click here
 
#GiveSomeHope Free Webinar
 
Join CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation SA this International Childhood Cancer Awareness Month as we engage with some of the most inspirational voices to #GiveSomeHope.

Guest Speaker is Musa Motha, 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. 

Watch Musa's Golden Buzzer moment here.

Register for the free webinar here.

 

 
Famous Brands Coffee Company, Giving back never tasted so good!

Famous Brands Coffee Company recently announced their "Sustainable Giving Initiative" with five amazing child focused charities, CHOC being one of them!

Since they believe children are our future and every child deserves respect, love and care, they have partnered with five organisations that support children in so many different ways.

Famous Brands Coffee Company will be donating part of the proceeds of every bag of Loba Coffee sold, and so every time you buy one, you’ll be helping to improve the rights, wellbeing, health and education of children in need.

Join us in making a difference to your coffee enjoyment, and in the lives of the many children these organisations support. Enjoy selecting your Loba Coffee here.

Upcoming Events

 
Mangaung Childhood Cancer Awareness Walk in Bloemfontein

30 September

View Details

CHOC Gala Dinner in Bloemfontein

30 September

View Details

Rocking for Cancer – Western Cape

6 October

View Details

​​​T​​​o view more upcoming events, please 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

Copyright © 2022, CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation SA. All rights reserved.

Read our Privacy Policy here.

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

Copyright © 2023, CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation SA. All rights reserved.

Read our Privacy Policy here.

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