Author Archives: LFCT

Dedication to Aleem, Mommy Kaneez, Sister Kamie & Family


It is once again with a heavy heart that I sit here in the early hours of the morning trying to find the words to write….

Today is Diwali, the Festival of Lights, a day of celebration that spiritually signifies the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance, and hope over despair.

Today is also the day that our Little Fighter, Aleem’s greatest wish would have been made manifest as he would have flown up to Durban with his mommy Kaneez and sister Kamie to meet Gambit the Dolphin at uShaka Marine World today.

Today is also the day that Aleem’s Family and Loved Ones will say their final goodbyes as his funeral takes place at 9am…

Emotions are all over the place… there are no words…

 

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Liquid Biopsy New Hope for Precision Therapies for Retinoblastoma Tumours


Retinoblastoma is a type of eye cancer that develops in the light-sensitive lining of the eye, called the retina.

Retinoblastoma can occur at any age but mainly occurs in children younger than 5 years of age and most often in those younger than 2.

In many developing countries where tumours can progress until they literally burst out of eyes, retinoblastoma remains an often fatal diagnosis, whereas in other countries the survival rate has risen to 98%.

Retinoblastoma was one of the first cancers to have its genetic origins identified in the late 1980s — a finding that helped launch the current era of personalised treatments that have transformed treatment of breast, lung, and prostate cancer.

To date though, children who develop these rare tumours have not benefited from that wave of precision diagnostics and therapies. This is mainly due to the fact that doctors have not been able to biopsy the tumours for genetic information that could guide treatment, without removing the very eyes the clinicians are trying so hard to save.

You can read about our own Little Fighter, Helen’s story HERE

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Smartphone App to Conquer Social Isolation of Young Cancer Survivors Launched


All too often for these individuals, a once-normal social life is thrown to the wayside and replaced with doctors’ appointments and treatment regimens. Friends and family members may not fully understand what their loved one is going through. A new app is here to help.

Cancer can be isolating, especially for adolescents and young adults (AYAs) who have unique needs. But it doesn’t always have to be.

Thanks to a new smartphone app, AYAs diagnosed with the disease can connect with young cancer survivors.

The first connection I made was amazing! She was able to chat with me about issues I’m currently facing with a compassion and an understanding only someone who has been through it could possibly have.” – Lauren W.

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Honouring Aleem Bowman – 👼 Forever 5 👼


Last week we put out a plea for donations to help make a make a last wish come true for young Aleem, a 5-year-old boy with terminal cancer.

It is with overwhelming sadness and aching hearts that today we have to share with you the heartbreaking news that Little Fighter Aleem Bowman earned his Angel Wings at 19H20 last night, 15th October.

Rest in Peace, Aleem ^Forever 5^

Aleem would have flown to Durban with his mom and sister – accompanied by Mandie from the Little Fighters Cancer Trust – this coming Thursday to meet Gambit and the other dolphins at uShaka Marine World…

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✨Foodie Friday ✨This ‘n That


Hey There, Little Fighter Fans – Friday again – wow how the week has flown by.

We hope that you all had a great week and that nobody washed away in any of the flooding that various areas experienced this week.

Today we are once again bringing you some great, easy recipes to tickle your and your Child with Cancer’s taste-buds. Today’s post features Chicken,  a Burger, a Smoothie and some lovely sweet treats, for what is life without something delectable and decadent?

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What will CAR T-Cell Therapy for Paediatric ALL Treatment Mean to Africa?


Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T-Cell Therapy is a form of cancer immunotherapy which seeks to sharpen and strengthen the immune system’s inherent cancer-fighting powers.

CAR T-Cell Therapy was approved in August 2017 ~ the first time that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved CAR T-cell therapy for a form of cancer ~ for the treatment of paediatric and young adult patients with B-cell ALL that has relapsed or hasn’t responded to previous treatments.

Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL) is a type of leukaemia in which a group of white blood cells, called lymphocytes, are affected. Leukaemia is the most common form of cancer in children, and about 80% of children with leukaemia have Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia.

CAR T-Cell Therapy involves treating patients with modified versions of their own immune system T cells ­– white blood cells that help protect the body from disease.

Lewis Silverman, MD, Clinical Director of the Hematologic Malignancy Center at Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, said:

It’s a very exciting development in our ability to treat childhood ALL. It offers hope to those that we haven’t been able to treat with conventional therapy. This is a hugely exciting time in childhood leukaemia research”

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Hope for Cancer Research in Africa


 

Mubarak Labaran Liman

Mubarak Labaran Liman has overcome the death of his father and a scarcity of resources to develop a thriving career in his native Nigeria, studying the role of African ethno-medicine in the management, prevention, and control of cancer and diabetes.

Liman is one of five recipients of the 2017 AACR African Cancer Researchers Travel Awards (ACRTA). These travel awards provide financial assistance to meritorious early-career African cancer researchers who wish to attend and present their research at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting in the United States.

Intended to enhance the education and training of African researchers engaged in all fields of cancer research, the ACRTA are also designed to encourage cross-cultural collaborations and learning.

Receiving this award is an honour for me and for my whole family,” says Liman, who presented his work on the potential of African sweet detar, a plant used in West African cooking, to prevent colon cancer.

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Children with Inflammatory Bowel Disease @ Higher Risk for Cancer


A new study from Sweden, Childhood Onset Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Risk of Cancer: a Swedish Nationwide Cohort Study 1964-2014, has found that children with inflammatory bowel disease have a higher risk of cancer – especially gastrointestinal cancers – both in childhood and in later life, compared with individuals without the disease.

The international team of researchers, including members of the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, reported the findings in the BMJ, a weekly peer-reviewed medical journal, on 20 September 2017.

The lack of data for childhood onset inflammatory bowel disease is especially worrisome given the increasing incidence and prevalence of Paediatric Crohn’s disease (mainly colitis).

The study notes that the raised risk of cancer for children with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) carries on into adulthood and has not reduced following the introduction of new ways to manage the disease, such as with biological agents.

While researchers found a higher relative risk of cancer, the absolute risks are low. Compared with healthy individuals, there was one extra case of cancer for every 556 people with IBD followed for 1 year.

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❣️URGENT❣️ Help Make a Dying Boy’s Wish Come True 🙏


Today we put out a very urgent plea for help to make a wish come true for young Aleem, a 5-year-old boy with terminal cancer.

Little Fighter Aleem Bowman was born on 25 July 2012. When he was admitted to Red Cross Children’s Hospital on 15 September 2016, he was diagnosed with Stage IV Neuroblastoma.

Aleem went through RCCH High Risk Neuroblastoma Protocol until April 2017, which included tests, scans, blood work, regular transfusions, hospitalisation, intensive chemotherapy and other treatments, and loads more.

Mommy Kaneez, a single mother, has had to handle a lot, and unfortunately this became even worse when the doctors informed her recently that there are simply no more treatment options for Aleem. He was on maintenance chemo for a short while, which was given purely to extend the time he has with his family, but even the maintenance chemo has now been stopped, as it serves no purpose anymore, and could now be harmful.

Aleem lives with his mommy (who had to give up her job to look after Aleem) and his older sister Kami at Kaneez’s elderly Parents’ home. Things have been very difficult for this family and The Little Fighters Cancer Trust has been offering whatever assistance we could such as food, clothing, bedding, and other practical needs since 7 October 2016.

Aleem was friends with another Little Fighter who lost his Fight last year, but who, before he died got his greatest wish and was able to visit Durban and have a very special interaction with the dolphins at Ushaka Marine World. Aleem saw the photographs, and has been talking about the dolphins for months!

Last week LFCT received a letter from Aleem’s Oncologist, positive about this travel and clearing him medically for the trip!

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✨Foodie Friday ✨Dandelion Recipes


Dandelion is a very rich source of beta-carotene which we convert into vitamin A. This flowering plant is also rich in vitamin C, fibre, potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and phosphorus.

It’s a good way to get B complex vitamins, trace minerals, organic sodium, and even some vitamin D too. Dandelion also contains protein – more than spinach. It has been eaten for thousands of years as a food and as a medicine to treat anaemia, scurvy, skin problems, blood disorders, and depression.

Dandelion root is tougher and hardier than the leaf and is often used in decoctions and tinctures for this reason. The powder is often added in coffee substitutes. The root is considered a natural diuretic and is sometimes used for this purpose.

Dandelion root and leaf are often listed as the ingredients of teas and poultices for abscesses and sores, especially on the breast and in female health remedies as they can help support lactation and remedy urinary issues.

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