The Childhood Cancer Ripple Effect

butterfly effect

Most of us have heard of The Butterfly Effect theory –

In 1961, Edward Lorenz, an MIT meteorologist, was developing a weather-prediction model. He theorised that a miniscule occurrence, such as a tiny butterfly flapping its wings in the Amazon, could hypothetically set in motion a chain of events that could cause tornadoes to touch down in Texas a few days later.

Most people initially laughed at this theory, but more and more people have come to resonate with it, especially as the whole globe is now more connected via the internet and other forms of technology… one only has to look at something like the Arab Spring to realise… an unknown Tunisian street vendor, Mohamed Bouazizi, set himself on fire to protest police harassment…

Images of this self –immolation were sent around the world very quickly using the available technology, and this accomplished what massive armies and decades of western influence had been unable to do: generate enough outrage to cause a rebellion!

the-ripple-effect globe

Then we have The Ripple Effect

The Ripple Effect theory is essentially that one event causes a series of other events to happen.

Today you could choose to help someone. By making a contribution to their life, it may be the one thing that completely reverses the direction of their life.

Children with cancer aren’t just little adults fighting adult cancers. They require unique treatment and research, yet with less than 4% of the National Cancer Institute’s budget directed to childhood cancers, research funding that’s just for kids is scarce.

The above video from the St. Baldrick’s Foundation explains a bit about Childhood Cancer and the Ripple Effect donating to them for Childhood Cancer Research has on Children with Cancer all over the World.


Here at Little Fighters Cancer Trust, we do not do research; we leave that to the scientific community. We provide support for Children with cancer and their Families in whichever way we can, by means of fundraising, without any funding from Government.

We see The Ripple Effect from two sides:

  • When a child is diagnosed with cancer, it is not only the Child with Cancer that is affected; the whole family is affected.

Families who care for a child with cancer incur considerable costs during the diagnostic, treatment, and follow-up care phases of the disease – necessary travel; loss of income because of a reduction or termination of parental employment; out-of-pocket treatment expenses; and inability to draw on assistance programs to supplement or replace lost income.

This economic burden can have long-term effects on the financial security, quality of life, and future well-being of the entire family, including the siblings of the affected child, but in particular the mother.

Siblings also generally suffer, as it is normal to focus on the Child with Cancer, sometimes leaving his or her siblings in the shadows. The often long and complex treatment protocols for patients mean that siblings’ needs tend to become a lower priority for the family, as all their attention and money is taken up in trying to get their Child with Cancer well again. Cancer treatments often involve many visits to the hospital, prolonged hospitalisations, disruptions in the home-life, and a loss of companionship for the brother or sister with cancer.

Things can become very difficult for the siblings of a Child with cancer and it shows in the fact that they display more anxiety, become depressed, start to have academic problems, become lonely, feel isolated, and may themselves begin to have physical health problems. They may also begin to display social problems. In this stressful and confusing time, it is extremely difficult for parents to provide enough time, support or answers to siblings.

  • A small act of kindness, of donating financially or of donating goods or services needed can change the lives of not only the Child with Cancer, but of entire families

It is difficult for many people to think that they can do anything to help because most individuals think that unless they can do something on a large scale it will not make a difference, so they end up doing nothing instead.

Remember the story we shared regarding The Tunisian street vendor, Mohamed Bouazizi and The Butterfly Effect? His actions caused a Butterfly Effect to happen in Egypt, but they also created a Ripple Effect wherein many  more people stood up to corrupt governments.

The Ripple Effect is based on the understanding that we are all connected. These connections stretch like an incredibly interwoven and complicated tapestry. Each of us exists within this tapestry. Thoughts and actions are like stones dropped in a pond and they create ripples that travel outward. Each of us carries within us the capacity to change the world in small ways for better or worse. We can use the Principles of the Ripple Effect to magnify our actions and their effects.

What may seem like a small and insignificant gesture or donation to you, could change somebody’s life for the better – in actual it could change a lot of people’s lives for the better! Your small donation WILL create a ripple effect, believe us!


Above is a diagram of just how much YOUR small donation could mean and the Ripple Effect it could create.


If you can donate financial help, please do not think that the R50 which is all that you can afford will not make a difference – you would be surprised to know how far Little Fighters Cancer Trust can make R50 stretch! That R50 could mean that a parent could buy the necessary taxi or bus ticket to get their child to a hospital or clinic, or pay towards their medicine (which they could not afford to do otherwise); it could mean that the mother who spends every waking hour at the bed of her sick child could get herself something to eat or buy some sanitary products she needs.

If you think that the 6 cans of viennas that were all you could afford to donate will not make a difference, think again! Six cans of viennas could ensure that a few families (together with other food donations) could at least have ONE DECENT MEAL that day! It could mean that a Child with Cancer has something that they can actually eat (because it is soft – and it is SO difficult to chew or swallow when undergoing Chemotherapy) that day!

Your small donation could mean that the family of a Child with Cancer could use the money to buy food instead of using their rent money which could end up in the whole family being evicted from their home for non-payment of rent, or that they can afford to buy a little bit of electricity to keep themselves warm this winter.

Make a donation via PayPal by clicking on the button below


You can also donate by transferring funds:

Bank details:

Account Holder: Little Fighters Cancer Organization
Bank: FNB Paarl Mall
Account No: 62277783249
Branch code: 250057
Swift code for international donations: FIRNZAJJ
Trust Reg No: IT2817/2010

If you would prefer to donate goods, please see Our Wishlist for ongoing needs.


Start Your Own Ripple/Butterfly Effect

If you feel that what you alone can do is not sufficient, then start your own Ripple Effect within your Community, School, Business or Workplace:

Here are some Prime Examples of individuals who did just that!

These are individuals who went out of their way to make a difference this winter and received the Little Fighters Cancer Heart of Gold Medal Award

These are individuals who have volunteered themselves to raise funds for Little Fighters cancer Trust by doing what they love:

  • Carina Bruwer Pugliese – uses her love for open-water swimming to raise funds
  • Sors ‘GURU’ Grobbelaar – uses his Martial Arts Skills to Fundraise for LFCT
  • Anna Jooste – uses her love for running to raise funds
  • Sue Kelly and the Funky Frog Team – they travel all over SA selling garden frogs to raise funds
  • André Reyneke and a group of friends are using their love of hiking to scale Mt Kilimanjaro in July to raise funds
  • Danie Botha and 2 friends are using their love of adventure to undertake a 7 country in Seven Days  journey to fundraise


Here are some ideas of how YOU can create your own ripple:

  • Donations of Old Unused Goods: Although we cannot donate used goods to our Little Families due to compromised immune systems, you could organise a “Boot Sale” of donated second-hand goods then donate the proceeds to LFCT OR ask people to make use of our Buy & Sell for Charity Facebook Page (all details on page)
  • Charity Dinner/Braai/Event: Organise a dinner/braai or party and charge a “plate fee” or an “entry fee” and donate the proceeds to LFCT. This is quite easy to do, as it can be done at your home, amongst a group of friends. An “Afternoon Tea” would also work.
  • Give it up Campaign: Ask your friends/family/colleagues to give something up once a month and rather donate the money they would have spent on it to help Children with Cancer. This could be a dinner, a trip to the movies, a bunch of flowers for reception… just about ANYTHING!
  • A Car Wash Event – get a group of friends/family/colleagues together and hold a car wash day! Dress up like clowns or something relevant to children to press the point (or do it in bathing costumes if the weather is warm) and donate proceeds to LFCT.
  • Go casual” day of Support: Organise with your company that all employees can dress casually to work on a certain day if a specific amount of funds is raised by a designated date. Ask your company to also donate (maybe they could match donations given by staff – this is a GREAT incentive for staff to donate more).

There are millions of ways in which EVERYONE can make a difference, and have FUN doing it…


PLEASE NOTE: While we are most appreciative of members of the public who are willing to organise fundraising events on our behalf, we do have procedures in place to ensure transparency, as we do with all issues financial. In order to assure those you are asking to donate that your fundraising is genuine, and to use the Little Fighters Cancer Trust name to fundraise for us, we have to insist that the fundraising is done with our knowledge and acknowledgement.

This is vital because we have had cases of individuals using our name to “raise funds” that we have never seen, and that is damaging to our organisation, all we stand for and all we do.

Please see our Fundraising Volunteers Page for more ideas, our regulations regarding fundraising for LFCT and what we will do to help you in your fundraising efforts.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email for further direction and discussion.



About LFCT

This is a blog about CHILDHOOD CANCER and CHILDHOOD CANCER AWARENESS Little Fighters Cancer Trust is a non-profit organisation that offers support and aid to Children with Cancer and their families. When a child is diagnosed with cancer it affects the whole family. One of the parents, usually the mother, must give up their job to care for the child and this creates financial problems for the family. In South Africa especially the majority of these families are not well-to-do; many of them are rural. A diagnosis of cancer can wipe out any family’s finances, let alone a poor family. The costs of special medications, special diets, hospital stays, transport to and from the hospital or clinic and accommodation and food costs for the mother who spends most of the time at her child’s bedside are astronomical. These are the people and problems that fall through the cracks, and these are the people that Little Fighters Cancer Trust has pledged to help in any way possible. LFCT takes a holistic approach to assisting the Children with Cancer and their Families, with the main aim to be the preservation of individual dignity and pride. Little Fighters Cancer Trust also focuses on promotion and advocacy of National Childhood Cancer Awareness in an effort to increase awareness of Early Warning Signs of Childhood Cancer. This would result in earlier diagnosis, giving the Child with Cancer more of a chance at Treatment and Survival. See "About" for more Background info

Posted on 4 June, 2015, in Blog, Fundraising, Videos and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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