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So Anyways, Childhood Cancer


Just exactly how do we get the average person like you and the politicians and the corporations and the pharmaceutical companies who control the research funding to take creative ownership of the childhood cancer epidemic in this country? Because make no mistake about it… it is an epidemic!

Tom Mitchell is the founder and director of Stillbrave Childhood Cancer Foundation. Affectionately known as “Tattoo Tom” by the children and families whom he serves. He is also a nationally recognized activist and advocate for children with cancer and their families.

Following the death of his daughter Shayla in 2009 from Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Tom dedicated his entire life to providing non-medical support to children with cancer and their families. He’s also committed to raising awareness of the need for more research funding and safer, less toxic treatments for children with cancer.

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Why I Don’t Believe in #MandelaDay


Right! So now that this controversial headline has got your attention… please read on as to why….

Today the World is celebrating the Madiba Centenary – the theme of this year’s Mandela Day Celebrations is meant to reflect on the legacy of Madiba by cementing a culture of volunteerism. The hashtag for this year is #actionagainstpoverty.

There are so many initiatives again this year, such as the “Initiative to feed millions for Mandela Day” being run by Pick ‘n Pay and FoodForward South Africa, the aim of which would be to collect 250 tonnes of food over three days to provide over a million meals…

This is all good and well, and well done to them, BUT…

I liked and respected Nelson Mandela, but I do not believe in “Mandela Day” or “16 Days of Activism to oppose Violence Against Women” or any of those “annual commemorative movements” or whatever one wishes to call them and this is why….

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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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LFCT Share the Warmth 2018 Outreach – Greys’ Hospital Pietermaritzburg


Inge Millbank, Lauren Hook (LFCT) Shareen Ferreira Scott (67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day Pietermaritzburg)

The first of our “Share the Warmth” 2018 Hospital Outreaches has been done!

Each winter the Little Fighters Cancer Trust does several winter warmth projects which we have rolled into one this year, and although donations have been very slow in coming in this year and we are hectically busy with restructuring, we will do what we can to share the warmth in as many hospitals as possible.

On Sunday 24th June our wonderful LFCT Representative Lauren Hook, accompanied by Shareen Ferreira Scott (Ambassador – 67 blankets for Nelson Mandela Day Pietermaritzburg), her daughter Erin Scott and Inge Millbank paid a visit to the Paediatric Oncology Ward of Greys’ Hospital in Pietermaritzburg to distribute warm winter blankets and some other goodies.

Each child in the ward received a lovely snuggly warm blanket to fend off the cold – these Little Fighters get REALLY cold due to the treatments they undergo for their cancer, as well as due to impaired immune systems, so they really need to keep warm at all times.

Each mother – who spends weeks, sometimes months at a time in the hospital with her child, generally sitting in a chair at their bedside and more often than not sleeping in that chair too – also received a lovely blanket to keep them warm during their bedside vigil.

Some lovely warm knitted scarves were also handed over, and received with much gratitude.

 

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Feedspot Influential Blog Rank: #4


The Little Fighters Cancer Trust is proud to announce that our Blog has once again – for the 3rd year running – been ranked among the Top Childhood Cancer Blogs on the internet for 2018!

This blog was started in June 2014, and since then we have been hard at work trying to share the most relevant, most up to date information regarding Childhood Cancer as well as some of the Struggles and the Triumphs & Tragedies that accompany Childhood Cancer, and will continue to do so as often as possible for as long as possible.

We moved up from #57 in 2016 to #5 in 2017, and in 2018 we have moved up to 

Feedspot Influential Blog Rank: #4

#ChildhoodCancer   #LittleFighters   #LFCT   #CancerSUCKS #LittleFightersCancerTrust   #HelpingHands   #LFCTCares

 

Thanks a million to all our Supporters and Followers!

 

Child Cancer Diagnosis – What I Wish I Knew


What do you do when you receive the shocking and unwelcome news that your child has cancer? What do you need? How do you handle it?

What do you do or say when the child of a friend has been diagnosed with cancer? How do you support them best?

What do you say and what should you never, never, EVER say to the parent of a child with cancer?

It is difficult to know what to say even to an adult who has been diagnosed with cancer, let alone to a child or the parent of a child with cancer…

The following was written by the mother of a child with cancer to let everyone know how she felt and what is cool and what is not cool to say to someone whose child has cancer… we hope that it will be of some help to those who have just heard that a friend or family member’s child has just been diagnosed with cancer and the family is about to face the battle of their lives….

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Computerised Cognitive Training: Brain Games & Brain Training


Children may not experience the same brain tumour side effects and symptoms as adults.

Because their brains and bodies are still growing, they may experience symptoms and side effects that are unique to their age and stage of development.

Children, adolescents and young adults with brain tumors generally experience various side-effects from brain cancer, including Physical Side Effects, Eating and Nutrition Issues, Changes in Physical Appearance, Cognitive and Emotional Side Effects, as well as Long-Term or Late Effects.

Neurocognitive problems are an unfortunate potential side effect of childhood brain tumours. These can vary widely, and can affect intellectual ability, academic achievement, memory and attention.

Potential problems can be assessed by a pediatric neuro-psychologist who can help determine the types of issues that need to be addressed and their treatments.

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Little Miss & Mr Winelands 2018


On Saturday night Lizelma and I were privileged to attend the Little Miss & Mr Winelands 2018 Competition as the Little Fighters Cancer Trust was the beneficiary on the night, and what a wonderful, sparkling, professional, fun evening it was.

Young ladies and gentlemen from all over the Winelands took part and strutted their stuff on the stage – we were just very pleased that we were not asked to be judges as they had an enormous task ahead of them – but they acquitted themselves very well.

It was such fun to watch the little ones, the young ladies were all decked out in their finest gowns and the gentlemen were decked out in their fines too, bow ties and all [ Lizelma wanted to take one or two home with her…. 😉 ]

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Foodie Friday: Diet and Nutrition During Brain Cancer Treatment


In the past, you may have promised yourself that you and your family will start eating a more healthy and nutritious diet – now is the time to put that promise into action.

Eating well can combat fatigue, help your child feel better, and keep their body strong so that they can cope more easily with the side effects of their treatment. It can also help your child heal and recover more readily from their cancer treatment.

Your child’s reaction to food may differ from other children who have the exact same diagnosis – some children continue to enjoy eating and maintain a strong appetite. Others want to eat well but are unable to do so. Feelings of fear and anxiety may complicate the desire to eat.

Nausea, in particular, can interfere with eating well. During treatment, some children may experience nausea or vomiting while others may never have either. If your child feels sick to his/her stomach between meals, it may help for them to eat six to eight small meals during the day rather than three large meals. Avoid giving them foods that are very sweet, greasy, fried or emit a strong smell.

And finally, keep in mind that your child’s dietary changes do not have to be dramatic. Begin with the item that is easiest for them or your family, then choose another after a few weeks, and then another. Before you know it, your whole family will have moved into a healthier eating pattern.

 

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Foodie Friday: Malnutrition & Brain Tumour Patients


Malnutrition at the diagnosis of cancer is not an uncommon finding in the developing world.

Malnutrition describes the consequences of insufficient protein-energy intake. Malnutrition is an unspecific term used to define an inadequate nutritional condition. It is characterized by either a deficiency or an excess of energy with measurable adverse effects on clinical outcome. 

Malnutrition describes the consequences of insufficient protein-energy intake. An adequate protein-energy balance is a prerequisite for age-appropriate growth and maintenance.

Nutrition is very important for Children with Cancer, because the presence of the tumour as well as the treatments that they undergo play havoc with their immune systems as well as various other systems in their little bodies.

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