Category Archives: Articles

The Mourner’s Bill of Rights


Losing a child is the most painful experience that any parent can be asked to go through, especially when it is a young child that they have had to watch go through the devastating, frightening, physically and emotionally crippling battle against cancer.

Losing a child is like losing one’s heart and then being expected to carry on with life as though everything is still the same – and it isn’t.

People expect you to act and behave in a specific manner, and they have no right; they mumble inane well-meaning but awkward, insensitive phrases like “He’s in a better place,” “Everything happens for a reason,” or “You’re lucky to have other children,” and “Time will heal all,” or “You must get on with your life now.”

In our second article in this Bereaved Parents Awareness Month we would like to once again extend our heartfelt sympathies to all parents who have lost a child/children and remind you that NOBODY has the right to tell you how to grieve, how long to grieve, or anything else about YOUR grief!

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July is International Sarcoma Awareness Month!


The month of July is designated International Sarcoma Awareness Month.

Sarcomas are rare cancers that develop in the muscle, bone, nerves, cartilage, tendons, blood vessels and the fatty and fibrous tissues.

They can affect almost any part of the body, on the inside or the outside.

There are three main types of sarcoma: soft tissue sarcoma, bone sarcoma and gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GIST). There are around 100 different sub-types of sarcoma

Sarcomas make up 15% of all childhood cancers (0-14 years) and 11% of all cancer diagnoses in teenagers and young people (15-24 years).

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What does The RACE for Children Act Mean?


Most paediatric cancer patients are subjected to treatments that are not designed for a child’s developing body.

This is because there has been too little research into Childhood Cancer and too few new medications to treat childhood cancer.

According to the Coalition against Childhood Cancer, a mere 4 % of America’s  National Cancer Institute’s budget is dedicated to paediatric cancer research – it is even less in some other countries.

Parents and advocates say that is not enough when you consider how much life these children stand to lose.

Treatment options for Children with Cancer have been stagnant for decades, with only 3 new drugs developed specifically to treat childhood cancers since 1980, compared to the 190 new treatments that have been approved for adults in the last 20 years alone.

The Research to Accelerate Cures and Equity for Children Act that was signed into U.S. law during August this year aims to change that.

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The Inimitable Dr Audrey Evans, Modern Hero


Dr. Audrey Evans is a world-renowned oncologist whose career has spanned more than 60 years.

As the co-founder of the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House (1974), the first Ronald McDonald House in the world that led to the creation of Ronald McDonald House Charities, and the co-founder of St. James School (2011), a faith-based middle school for under-resources youth, her efforts have impacted the lives of millions across the world.

Now at the advanced age of 92, her legacy was recently celebrated by the awe-inspiring new digital series, Modern Hero, which features groundbreaking women who are making a difference in their careers and in the world.

Dr Audrey Evans reduced mortality rates by 50% for neuroblastoma patients…she’s helped 7 million families in more than 63 countries across the globe….she’s giving under-resourced youth a chance at a better life…and at 92 she “still has the ability to do something for the benefit of humanity.”

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Kwazulu-Natal Cancer Patients Dying While Waiting For Treatment


Cervical cancer patient Alice Sibiya has waited more than one year to receive treatment.

Four months ago the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) released a scathing report detailing the collapse of cancer services in the province. The document accused the KwaZulu-Natal health department and its MEC, Sibongiseni Dhlomo, of failing patients.

Waiting times for life-saving cancer treatment has grown by almost 30% as KwaZulu-Natal’s cancer services crumble and stall.

According to information revealed by SAHRC chairperson Bongani Majola during a recent provincial health portfolio committee meeting, patients are now waiting up to nine months for treatment.

The average waiting time for treatment was previously seven months.

Democratic Alliance spokesperson for health in KwaZulu-Natal Imran Keeka says he doubts the veracity of the information and alleges the data does not reflect patient backlogs at Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital fuelled by a breakdown of treatment machines at Addington Hospital.

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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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Stealing Pain Medication from Cancer Patients the Lowest of the Low


Johnathan William Click, the lead pharmacy technician for Birmingham’s ContinuumRx, has been accused of stealing opioid medication from IV bags intended for cancer patients experiencing excruciating pain. Prosecutors have accused Click of siphoning morphine and hydromorphone from the vials and replacing the drugs with saline or sterile water.

For nearly two months, a patient at New Beacon Hospice in Birmingham, Alabama, would push the button on her intravenous pump, hoping for a dose of medication to ease the excruciating pain caused by her liver cancer, but never got the relief she was seeking.

A nurse made a series of worried calls to ContinuumRx, the pharmacy that supplied IV bags to the hospice. “Something was not right,” the nurse told the pharmacy. “Keep pushing the button”, the pharmacy instructed, before swapping out the patient’s bag at least twice.

Prosecutors say Johnathon William Click, the leader pharmacy technician for ContiuumRx, spent nearly two years stealing opioid drugs that were supposed to go into IV bags for patients in palliative care. He is accused of siphoning morphine and hydromorphone from the pharmacy’s vials and replacing the liquid he took with saline or sterile water.

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Should Junk Food Adverts be Banned?


For the first time in history, there are more obese individuals in the world than underweight people. Both are symptoms of malnutrition, part of a global food system geared towards profits.

Activists are calling for a radical shift in the entire food system, including a total ban on junk food advertising. Is it possible and will it make a difference?

Consuming junk-food, especially sugary carbonated drinks, is “effectively poisoning your body”, according to Andrew Bennie, a food sovereignty activist and researcher, based at the University of the Witwatersrand. “So why are people allowed to advertise the consumption of poison, really?” he asks.

Last year, the United Nations called on all governments to outlaw the advertising of junk food to children saying that these “commercial messages have the potential to shape children’s long term consumer and financial behaviour, and they are growing in number and reach”.

In South Africa, the Advertising Code of Practice was amended in 2008 to limit the marketing of unhealthy foods to children under the age of 12, but this has not yet happened – a National Department of Health-led policy to increase this to all school-going age children has been stalled for several years.

See our previous articles; Link between Blood Sugar & Brain Cancer Found and Does Cancer Have a Sweet Tooth? for more information about sugar and cancer…

 

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Garth Taylor 🤼‍♂️Fighting for Children with Cancer🤼‍♂️ TONIGHT!!! 🥊Please Support!!🥊


While most people know Garth Taylor for his chart-topping radio hits, few know he is an avid fitness fanatic and that kickboxing is his second passion.

Garth won the SA Amateur Kickboxing Championships in the lightweight category in 2014.

In an effort to raise funds for the Little Fighters Cancer Trust (LFCT) during Childhood Cancer Awareness month, Garth returns to the ring at the White Collar Boxing 19 event at Scarlet Ribbon, in Modderfontein TONIGHT, September 15.

I lost my sister to cancer. Having watched what she went through as an adult fighting this disease, I can only imagine how much worse it is for children to be fighting this battle,” comments Garth. “I figured, how bad could it be? Me stepping into the ring and getting punched around for kids who are fighting for their lives every single day.

I hope that the general public and companies will pledge towards this campaign and that we can raise funds and help make a difference. Cancer is a bully, and I will be fighting with everything I have for this cause,” he adds.

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Less than 0.1% of S.A. GDP Earmarked for NCD’s


According to the 20th edition of the South African Health Review published by the Health Systems Trust (HST) on Wednesday, South Africa is experiencing an increase in the prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), which imposes a heavy burden on healthcare services, which are already under tremendous strain from HIV and Tuberculosis.

NCDs include diseases like cancers, chronic respiratory disease and diabetes are the leading cause of mortality and disability globally. 80% of NCD deaths reportedly occur in low- and middle-income countries (including South Africa), affecting disproportionately more individuals younger than 60 years than in high-income countries.

According to the report, stronger prevention and community-based programmes, including those involving Community Healthcare Workers (CHWs) are required, to “avert the growing burden of NCDs.

 

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