How Do I Cope When My Child Has Cancer?


Parents of Children with Cancer have to face the unthinkable – a fight for their child’s life before that child has even had a chance to really live. Watching your child suffer the horrors of treatment in order to have a chance at life is something no parent should ever have to experience.

No matter what problems you think you may have faced; there is nothing as stressful or heartbreaking as having to deal with the fact that your little baby (they are always “your little baby” no matter how old they are) has a deadly disease and may die.

The diagnosis of cancer in a child or teenager can be a devastating blow to parents and other family members. Cancer creates an instant crisis in the family.

We here at the Little Fighters Cancer Trust are all too familiar with the immense amount of emotional, physical, psychological and financial stress that accompany a diagnosis of Childhood Cancer.

We have seen firsthand how some families manage to pull together and become stronger; unfortunately we have also see how families have buckled under the constant pressure and stress, especially the financial stress and shattered apart.

Today’s post will concentrate on giving some advice and support to the parents of Children with Cancer.

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Foodie Friday: Smoothie, Salad, Strudel & Sexy Herbed Chicken


Another busy week has flown by and it is weekend again – more important, it is Foodie Friday!

Once again we have been very busy researching the best foods for those fighting cancer and bring you another full day’s meals that we hope that both you and your Little Fighter will enjoy.

While we are currently only doing these recipes in posts, we will be updating our website soon and will then also include a separate section for recipes in the different genres so that  you will easily be able to look and find the perfect recipe whenever you want for whatever occasion… we will still continue to do our Foodie Friday posts too though.

Keeping in theme with yesterday’s post, todays recipes contain all those oh-so-important nutrients that are vital for fighting cancer – enjoy!

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7 Key Cancer-Fighting Nutrients & the Food they are In


We all basically know that we need nutrients to keep us healthy, but what exactly are nutrients and where do we find them? It is no good knowing what we need if we do not know where to find it, and vitamin and mineral supplements just do not do the trick; we need natural nutrients for health and cancer protection.

Children with Cancer, especially, need as many nutrients as possible to help fight the cancer as well as the side-effects from cancer treatments such as Chemotherapy and Radiation Therapy.

According to research by the American Institute for Cancer Research, getting our nutrients from foods will give one a powerful mix of health-promoting substances.

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South African Singing Doctor to Launch Debut Album in Cape Town


One of The Mother’s City top singing-doctors is set to launch a new CD later this month, with the sole purpose of using his passion to make a difference in his community.

Upright Citizen is the début musical album released by singing-doctor Marc Hendricks, and he is set to dazzle Cape Town audiences at the Artscape Theatre on 22 April, for a one-night only performance.

Dr. Marc is well-known to the Little Fighters Cancer Trust, as he is the much-loved and well-respected treating oncologist for many of our Little Fighters, who spend a lot of time at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital.

Proceeds of the show will be donated to Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital for transformation initiatives.

Dr. Marc, as he is fondly referred to by our Little Fighters and their Families, is a wonderful, caring, compassionate Paediatric Oncologist who also has the voice of an angel (listen to him performing his composition BIRD SONG on the video below).

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Caution Called for in Development of Drugs for Most Common Malignant Paediatric Brain Tumour


Researchers led by St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital scientists have worked out how a crucial cancer-related protein, a “histone writer” called Ezh2, plays a role in suppressing as well as driving the most aggressive form of the brain tumour medulloblastoma.

Ezh2 is a histone writer, an enzyme that can tag or label other proteins in a way that turns off genes. The new findings, which appear online in Cell Reports, show that unlike in some earlier studies where the protein helped to advance disease, Ezh2 can also suppress cancer. This dichotomy has implications for the potential use of drugs intended to inhibit this enzyme, some of which are being tested in clinical trials.

The enzyme looked at in this study is the histone H3K27 mono-, di- and trimethylase of polycomb repressive complex 2, or Ezh2 for short. This histone writer adds methyl groups to specific histone proteins leading to epigenetic modifications that affect gene expression. The team used CRISPR gene editing to knock out the activity of the protein in a mouse model. Loss of function of this protein due to gene editing resulted in acceleration of the development of medulloblastoma tumours.

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Gene Therapy in Cancer Treatment


Gene therapy is a still somewhat experimental treatment that involves introducing genetic material into a person’s cells to fight or prevent disease. Researchers are studying gene therapy for a number of diseases, such as severe combined immuno-deficiencies, haemophilia, Parkinson’s disease, cancer and HIV, via a number of different approaches.

A gene can be delivered to a cell using a carrier known as a “vector.” The most common types of vectors used in gene therapy are viruses. The viruses used in gene therapy are altered to make them safe, although some risks still exist with gene therapy. The technology is still in its infancy, but it has been used with some success.

In most gene therapy studies, a “normal” gene is inserted into the genome to replace an “abnormal,” disease-causing gene. In cancer, some cells become diseased because certain genes have been permanently turned off. Using gene therapy, mutated genes that cause disease could be turned off so that they no longer promote disease, or healthy genes that help prevent disease could be turned on so that they can inhibit the disease.

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Foodie Friday: A Day’s Meals


Hey there Fans,

Foodie Friday again and today we bring you a whole day’s worth of meals including snacks.

An important part of healthy eating is variety: a diverse mix of fruits, veggies, grains and proteins will ensure your Child with cancer gets a wider range of the nutrients their body needs to provide them with energy and boost their immune system.

Today’s recipe collection features a varied selection of dishes that will get them started in the morning and keep them going through the day – including a few sweet treats.

 

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Please Support Our Mother’s Day Project


Mother’s Day is a celebration honouring the mother of the family, as well as motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society.

All mothers deserve a day to be honoured, and no mothers deserve to be honoured more than mothers of Children with Cancer. These mothers live under tremendous stress for months, sometimes years while their child is engaged in a battle for their life.

Put yourself in the shoes of one of these mothers ~ your child has been given what amounts to a death sentence before they have even had a chance to really live…

Add to this the confusion and uncertainty; the many visits to doctors, clinics, and hospitals; the myriad of tests and treatments; the fear that their child may die; the financial strain and the strain of trying to give your other children what they need too…

Now think about the many hours, weeks and often months that these mothers spend in hospital wards at the bedside of their child, praying, crying while they sleep and trying to show a brave smiling face when they are awake…

Birthdays, Christmas, Easter, Anniversaries, Kwanza, Pesach… none of them matter to a mother if her child is ill… she will maintain a vigil at their bedside, often to the detriment of her own health…

 

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Reservoir of Chemotherapy-Resistant Stem Cells in the Intestine


The intestine has a high rate of cellular regeneration due to the wear and tear originated by its function degrading and absorbing nutrients and eliminating waste. The entire cell wall is renewed once a week approximately. This explains why the intestine holds a large number of stem cells in constant division, thereby producing new cell populations of the various types present in this organ.

Researchers at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) headed by ICREA investigator Eduard Batlle, head of the Colorectal Cancer Laboratory, have discovered a new group of intestinal stem cells with very different characteristics to those of the abundant and active stem cells already known in this organ. Performed in collaboration with the Centro Nacional de Análisis Genómico (CNAG-CRG), the study has been published in Cell Stem Cell. These new group of stem cells are quiescent, that is to say, they do not proliferate and are apparently dormant.

The researchers describe them as a reservoir of stem cells – it is estimated that there is one quiescent cell for every 10 active intestinal stem cells. In healthy conditions, these cells have no apparent relevant function. However, they are important in situations of stress, , for example, after chemotherapy, in inflammatory processes, and in tissue infections – all conditions in which the population of “normal/active” stem cells is depleted. These quiescent cells would serve to regenerate the organ by giving rise to the various types of cells present in the intestine, renewing the population of “normal/active” stem cells, and restoring balance to the tissue.

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Would YOU like to Volunteer @ The Little Fighters Cancer Trust?


 

Helping Hands

The Only Arms That Can Reach Everywhere Are Those Of The Community!

Every day the Little Fighters Cancer Trust gets loads of phone calls, e-mails and enquiries on our Facebook Page from individuals who want to know how they can help us to help our Little Fighters and their families.

We really appreciate all the offers and enquiries, but we cannot always get to them as we are only 3 full-time staff who have a mountain of things to do, so we have made it very easy for you to offer help…

Like any NGO, we survive on donations, all of which (and more) are desperately needed to do whatever we can for our Little Fighters and their Families, so we definitely do need as many volunteers as possible.

Unfortunately most people want to work directly with the children, but this is not possible most of the time as the hospitals have major red-tape about visitors to the paediatric oncology wards – and for good reason – primarily that these Little Fighters all have impaired immune systems and the slightest infection could mean disaster for them.

We do, however have many other forms of volunteerism, and if you would like to help please look through the descriptions of the volunteers that we do need and see which would suit you.

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The Face of a True Warrior


This is 10-year-old Little Fighter Brendon, and last week he made a short video for all his supporters to tell them how he was doing and thank them for the support; he first did this in Afrikaans (his home language) but when asked by Mandie if next time he could do one in English for those Little Fighter Supporters who do not understand Afrikaans, he immediately made a second one in English – what a CHAMP!!!

What is more important though, is that he made these videos a short few days after massive surgery to place a Broviac Line as well as open chest surgery to do a biopsy on his thymus.

This is what inspires us about our Little Fighters and keeps us doing what we do – all of these children who are fighting cancer are SO strong and somehow, through it all they all smile most of the time…

Brendon suffered from severe abdominal pain and cramping and was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease in 2016, but his suffering continued as did the doctors visits, various medications, various medical tests, and loads of financial and psychological stress for the whole family.

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FOODIE FRIDAY: The Wonderful & Nutritious Rosehip


 

Rosehip is part of the fruit that grows on the blossom of a wild rose called Rosa Canina. This rose grows mostly in Europe and parts of Africa and Asia – the plant grows up to ten feet tall and bears a white, very fragrant flower. Once the flower has bloomed, and all the petals have fallen off, the hip is picked and used in a wide variety of preparations.

Rosehips are high in beneficial micronutrients and phytonutrients such as vitamins A, B, C, E and K, and flavonoids. Rosehips contain as much as 20 x more vitamin C than oranges; a single tablespoon of rosehip pulp gives an adult more than the recommended daily allowance of 60 mg of Vitamin C.

Vitamin A is also beneficial to the immune system. It can help to prevent infections from both bacteria and viruses and fight off any infections that do occur.

Rosehips are often thought of as a great cancer preventative because they have carotenoids, polyphenols, flavonoids, leucoanthocyanins, and catechins.

Rosehips can be eaten raw, after being put through a blender, or soaked in water overnight and then cooked in the water for about half an hour.

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