Category Archives: News & Events

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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✨Thankful Thursday✨ Garth Taylor


Garth Taylor is considered a pioneer of the South African music industry; he is also a  self-taught SAMA nominated artist, and is most renowned for being a chart topping singer-songwriter and recording artist.

What few people know though, is that Garth is also a fitness fanatic whose second passion is kickboxing (he won the SA Amateur Kickboxing Champion in the Lightweight Category in 2014).

On Friday 15 September Garth entered the White Collar Boxing ring for the second time on behalf of the Little Fighters Cancer Trust.

Garth competed in the White Collar Boxing 19 event at Scarlet Ribbon in Modderfontein, in an effort to raise Childhood Cancer Awareness as well as to raise funds for the Little Fighters Cancer Trust.  White Collar boxing is essentially recreational and uses the sport as a means of personal development for people to push themselves and achieve individual objectives.

With many of our Little Fighters sending Garth video messages of encouragement, he could do nothing other than repeat his stellar performance of last year, and once again win his match – to the delight of all our Little Fighters! Congratulations, Garth, you are a real Warrior for our Little Fighters!!

A shout-out also goes to Andrew Savvides, Garth’s opponent for the great Fight and for his Support for Garth’s cause!

 

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✨Wishlist Wednesday✨ Support Garth Taylor’s 🤼‍♂️Fundraising Fight🤼‍♂️ for LFCT


Garth Taylor will once again be churning out hits of a different kind this September (International Childhood Cancer Awareness Month) in order to raise funds for the vital work done by the Little Fighters Cancer Trust.

Garth has supported LFCT over the years, and last year took part in the “White Collar Boxing 14” event at Scarlett Ribbon in Greenstone Park to raise funds for the Little Fighters Cancer Trust.

Last year Garth said, “After having my sister, Joanne, taken away from me by cancer, I have even more of a soft spot toward people who are fighting cancer. Having watched what she went through as an adult fighting this disease, I can only imagine how much worse it is for children who are suffering from cancer, to fight this battle. So, I figured, how bad can it be? Me, stepping into the ring and getting punched around for kids who are fighting for their lives every single day. I might as well see what I can do, if not through my singing, then by getting into the ring and doing something more exciting, so that people and companies pledge money and hopefully we can raise enough funds to help these little kids. I see cancer as a big bully hurting these children, and that is what I will be fighting.”

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Collusion Probe into Cancer Medications


As if Cancer patients do not have a difficult enough time fighting this destructive disease, Pharmaceutical Companies in South Africa are now being investigated for excessive pricing of cancer medication.

Commissioner Tembinkosi Bonakele from the Competition Commission announced last week at a briefing at the Department of Trade and Industry headquarters in Pretoria on Tuesday, that an investigation is to be initiated against oncology medicine provider Roche Holding AG, which includes its US-based biotechnology company Genentech Incorporated.

The matter is of grave national importance,” said Bonakele.

He explained that anti-competitive behaviour the healthcare sector, particularly pharmaceuticals could have a negative impact on consumers, specifically the poor and vulnerable.

The commission believes the company has engaged in excessive pricing, price discrimination and exclusionary conduct in the provision of breast cancer medicine in South Africa.

The commission says it has reason to believe that pharmaceutical companies Aspen, Roche and Pfizer are involved in alleged excessive pricing of these lifesaving drugs.

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Private Doctors Jump in to Rescue KZN Cancer Patients


In a Facebook Post last week, we shared with you the frightening news that Cancer Patients in Kwazulu Natal in South Africa would henceforth have to relocate to another province or die as the last cancer specialist in Durban has resigned.

As of the close of business on Friday‚ there will not be a single cancer specialist doctor employed at any state hospital in Durban – and only two will be left in KwaZulu-Natal.

This shocking development leaves hundreds – if not thousands – of cancer patients in KwaZulu-Natal’s biggest city facing clinical uncertainty and staring the possibility of death squarely in the face. It follows the resignation of the city’s last state oncologist‚ whose last day is Friday.

At least two cancer patients’ families have attributed their untimely deaths to the non-functional cancer treatment equipment at Addington‚ according to a statement released ahead of a march by doctors in Durban. Both patients were reportedly referred to Inkosi Albert Luthuli hospital as oncology machines at Addington were allegedly broken. But because of excessively long waiting lists‚ they died before they could be treated.

Democratic Alliance MPL Dr Imran Keeka said the party had submitted a complaint to the SA Human Rights Commission in February last year about the collapse of the oncology service.

He said a report‚ which has not been made public yet‚ was forwarded to him and the respondents‚ KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo‚ the KZN Department of Health‚ and officials at Addington and Inkosi Albert Luthuli.

“Because the report cannot be made public as yet‚ the contents cannot be divulged. The DA is hopeful that the unchanged report is made public very soon‚” he said.

Fortunately this week we can bring you some slightly better news…

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Cancer Not Recognised as a Priority Disease in South Africa


It is  crying shame to see what has happened to the once proud, functional and world-renowned South African Health Department.

South Africa used to have some of the best hospitals, doctors and nurses in the world and they were sought after by many overseas countries, but alas that is no more…

Twenty years ago on the 24th of this month a wonderful medical team at Groote Schuur Hospital saved my life (Stage IV Urethral Carcinoma) – virtually all of them are now either retired or practicing overseas due to the sad condition of and lack of support from the South African Department of Health 😦

It has become the norm to see articles about bad medical practices, hospitals and clinics running out of chronic medication, broken equipment, patients being left to lie in their own excrement, patients not being attended to and patients dying needlessly, etc. etc. and it makes me wanna bawl my eyes out…

While the following article is essentially about the state of the Ailing Kwazulu-Natal Health System, one has only to watch the news or read a newspaper to know that things are not much better at other State Hospitals around the country 😦

Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi has a lot of explaining to do…

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International Childhood Cancer Day ~15th February


iccd-poster-2February 15th is International Childhood Cancer Day; a day on which individuals across the globe create awareness around the fact that cancer does not discriminate by age.

Today we also think about all the children who are fighting cancer and their families and wish them Love, Light & Healing and remember all our Little Fighters who lost the battle and their Loved Ones and wish them Love, Light & Strength.

For far too long, the rights and needs of children/adolescents with cancer have been marginalised and neglected. While deaths due to infectious diseases have been significantly reduced, deaths due to childhood cancer are increasing.

Every day 700 children and adolescents below the age of 20 are diagnosed with cancer. Of the 250 000 diagnosed with cancer each year, about 90 000 of them will lose their lives to the disease.

Childhood cancer remains the leading cause of death by disease for children under the age of 15.

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World Cancer Day ~ 4th February: “We Can ~ I Can.”


world-cancer-day-2017dEvery year on 4th February,  a truly global event takes place ~ World Cancer Day unites the global population in the fight against cancer in an attempt to prevent millions of deaths each year by raising Awareness and Education about the disease, urging governments and individuals across the world to take action.

Despite recent scientific progress in finding treatments and improving patients’ care, 8.2 million people still die each year from cancer, nearly 50% of them between the age of 30 and 69. This figure is expected to rise to 11.5 million by 2025 and 13 million by 2030.

Low- and middle-income countries are more affected than high income countries – two thirds of global cancer deaths occur in these places – and this trend is predicted to continue in the next decade.

One of the ways to reduce mortality rates is to improve early diagnosis strategies. This is the message that the World Health Organization, working closely with World Cancer Day’ organisers, wants to put forward.

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Improved Comprehensive Guidelines for Chemotherapy – South Africa


ChemotherapyA group of South African cancer practitioners has developed  a new set of Comprehensive Guidelines to manage chemotherapy treatment and improve patient safety and protect healthcare workers.

Chemotherapy Administration Guidelines was compiled by members of the Independent Clinical Oncology Network (ICON) in consultation with global oncologists and cancer experts to address a substantial gap in South African cancer care protocol. The resource, a first for South Africa, will be released later this month.

According to Dr David Eedes, clinical oncology advisor for ICON, there has never been a single resource document in South Africa that addresses best practice at all three levels of chemotherapy administration:

  1. The Oncologists who prescribe the medication;
  2. The Pharmacists who dispense it; and
  3. The Nurses who administer it.

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Teen Cancer Fighter Miché Aces Matric


January 12, 2017. Cape Town. Vanessa Gertse received the MEC's special award for exeptional academic achievment. With her is Premier Helen Zille, MEC Debbie Scafer and Brian Schreuder - Head of education dept. Photo by Ruvan Boshoff

Miché Gertse aka Iron Girl, is a Little Fighters Cancer Trust Teen Fighter and Ambassador who has just, despite battling through overwhelming odds, attained TWO DISTINCTIONS and a university exemption.

Although 17-year-old Miché , a matriculant from Bernadino Heights High, may not have been the Western Cape’s best matriculant, she was awarded the Ministerial Award for Excellence last week by Premier Helen Zille at her official residence in Gardens‚ Leeuwenhof, together with 60 other members of the class of 2016 honoured by the provincial government.

Miché’s story is one of overcoming overwhelming odds and extreme courage in the face of devastating Childhood Cancer.

Miché was first diagnosed with osteosarcoma (bone cancer) in 2007 at the age of 10, whereafter she had a tumour removed from her right leg, and her femur was replaced with a metal prosthesis.

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