Blog Archives

✨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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✨Foodie Friday ✨ Quick Meals & Snacks


Having a Child with Cancer in the house means that you are generally stressed and fatigued to the max! This also means that you do not have a lot of time for normal household duties, including cooking elaborate meals.

Added to this, a Child with Cancer very often either does not have an appetite or cannot eat certain foods due to their treatment, mouth sores, taste changes, lack of appetite and various other reasons, so what to do?

Nutrition is really important for a Child with Cancer as they need all the strength they can muster to fight off the monster that is cancer. This means that even if it is difficult to eat o they don’t have much of an appetite, they need nutrition to build up their immune systems.

Today we bring you some easy, quick and minimal-ingredient recipes that we are sure your child will enjoy (you might just enjoy them too, and remember is is just as important to keep your strength up!)

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Why is Childhood Cancer not a Priority in South Africa?


While Childhood Cancer is “relatively rare” with an incident rate of around 1 in 600, or 150 patients per million in South Africa, too many children with Cancer are dying needlessly because cancer, including Childhood Cancer, is not a priority in South Africa.

The cure rate for Childhood Cancer in high income countries is around 80% but childhood cancer survival rates in low-income countries may be as low as 10%.

This is extremely disturbing when one factors in that out of the 250 000 children diagnosed worldwide with cancer every year, 80% live in low and middle-income countries and 90% of childhood cancer deaths occur in low and middle-income countries.

This is partially due to a lack of awareness of Childhood Cancer which leads to late diagnosis, and partially due to many Childhood Cancer patients falling through the cracks when it comes to support services, which are sorely lacking from government.

 

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Cancer Caregiver Stress, Depression & Burnout


Being a caregiver for a person with cancer takes its toll on one’s health, and even more so when the person with cancer is your child.

Caregivers of Children with Cancer (usually the mother) are faced with far more stress, as they usually have to give up their job, spend endless hours at their child’s bedside in the hospital – sometimes for weeks or even months at a time, make endless trips to doctors, clinics and hospitals, and still try to be there for the rest of the family. Childhood Cancer unfortunately often ends in divorce, which places even more of a burden on the mother and the stress becomes far worse and can often turn into depression or burnout.

While it is natural to want to stay by your sick child’s side and meet the needs of their siblings and other family members – all at once, this is a virtually impossible task, and unless you give both your mind and your body a break once in a while, you could well end up with caregiver-burnout!

When one continuously cares for others while under tremendous stress, one can begin to feel that you’re in over your head and have little control over the situation – this can cause the stress to begin taking a toll on your health, relationships, and state of mind—eventually leading to burnout.

When you are burned out, it’s tough to do anything, let alone look after your ill child, which is  why taking care of yourself is not a luxury; it is a necessity! There are plenty of things you can do to rein in the stress of caregiving and regain a sense of balance, joy, and hope in your life.

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Stopping Neuroblastoma’s Blood Supply in its Tracks


Researchers have discovered the mechanism by which a modified natural compound disrupts the formation of tumours’ blood vessel networks in Childhood Cancer Neuroblastoma.

Neuroblastoma occurs when malignant cancer cells form in the specialised nerve cells of the sympathetic nervous involved in the development of the nervous system and other tissues.

Neuroblastoma most commonly occurs in one of the adrenal glands situated in the tummy or in the chest, neck, abdomen, pelvis or the nerve tissue that runs alongside the spinal cord. The adrenal glands are specialised glands that release hormones that help the body respond to stress and maintain blood pressure.

The international study, led by scientists at Children’s Cancer Institute and UNSW, is published in Scientific Reports and paves the way for less toxic treatments for Neuroblastoma, a Childhood Cancer with an average age of diagnosis of just one to two years old.

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✨Foodie Friday ✨Winter Warmers


Hola, Little Fighter Friends & Supporters – it is Friday again and we have survived the week, and what a week it was again in South Africa.

Time to forget about work and politics and to get some well-deserved rest and relaxation and re-energise ourselves for next week.

Winter is upon us and it is set to be a cold weekend in the Western Cape with snowfalls on the mountain peaks so some nice winter warmers are called for – the kind of food that “sticks to one’s bones” as our parents/grandparents would say….

We hope that you enjoy these recipes that we publish every week and look forward to some feedback as to whether you have tried them or not, whether your Child with Cancer enjoyed them, and also whether there are any recipes that you would like us to publish.

 

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✨Thankful Thursday ✨ MORE Blankies & MORE PIZZA


It is ✨Thankful Thursday ✨ and once again we have SO much to be thankful for that our hearts are almost exploding with gratitude 🙏 🙏 🙏

The Little Fighters Cancer Trust is still busy delivering all of the warm blankets that YOU donated for our Little Fighters as well as all those wonderful pizzas that Roman’s Pizza donated for our Little Fighters  as part of their Mandela Day Celebrations thanks to YOUR votes.

Just imagine that you are a child lying in hospital day after day, week after week, and sometimes month after month – sick, in pain, undergoing vicious treatment for a vicious disease, no appetite, and when you can eat it is hospital food…. now imagine suddenly smelling the delicious aroma of PIZZA!!!

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✨Wishlist Wednesday✨ Food & Pre-Loved Goods


The one thing that we never have enough of at the Little Fighters Cancer Trust is FOOD.

More than 50% of the individual Childhood Cancer-affected families that are supported by the Little Fighters Cancer Trust have lost one income due to the child’s diagnosis.

This makes it very difficult for these families to ensure that their Child with Cancer has the nutritional food he or she needs in order to build up their immune system so that they can fight off the cancer.

LFCT helps out in excess of 100 families with food and other basic needs every month via our Feeding Our Families project.

We need YOUR help to put food on the table for many of our ‪‎Little Fighters and their Families who are really struggling.

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U.S. Senate Passes Bill to Improve Cancer Drugs for Children


Up until now, drug companies have been free to decide whether to pursue treatments for paediatric cancers as part of their work on adult cancers or not, and this has led to a minimal amount of new drugs specifically for paediatric cancers being developed.

An estimated 2,000 children die of cancer annually, and the overall incidence of childhood cancer has been slowly increasing since 1975 – there has been a 13% rise in Childhood Cancer in the past 20 years alone.

Despite significant advances against certain pediatric cancers, including Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, there are still some types of cancer for which there are few or no effective treatments.

The truth is that new drug development in pediatric cancer is extremely slow, often lagging way behind adult treatments, and few compounds are designed specifically for children.

The sad truth is that Childhood cancers make up less than 1% of all cancers diagnosed each year, and that is is not much of a market for drug makers, who rack up an estimated $1.4 billion in out-of-pocket costs while bringing a novel drug to market.

They won’t have much choice going forward!!

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✨Foodie Friday ✨ Healthy Day’s Menu


Having a Child with Cancer in the home is really difficult, as the emotional, financial and psychological stress on everyone in the family is HUGE!

We know that  you as a parent are doing your best to help your Child with Cancer cope with fighting this devastating disease, spending hours at their bedside both at home and in the hospital, still trying to look after the rest of the family, and so much more, and that this takes everything you have.

We realise that trying to cook healthy meals is really difficult under the circumstances, especially when it is difficult for your Child with Cancer to eat, but good nutrition is paramount under the circumstances, which is why we try to make it easier by supplying you with easy, nutritious, cancer-fighting recipes.

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✨Thankful Thursday ✨ Blankies & PIZZA


It is ✨Thankful Thursday ✨ and once again we have SO much to be thankful for that our hearts are brimming over with gratitude 🙏 🙏 🙏

Team LFCT would firstly like to thank ALL of our WONDERFUL supporters for all your donations – without YOU we could do NONE of this.

It is for this reason that we love to show you all where your donations go, so that you can see the smiles and gratitude with which everything is received. These Little Fighters and their Families generally have little to no resources and depend on what LFCT can do for them to help them get through this incredibly tough time.

Please be assured that even though we can often not show you photos of the children themselves due to hospital privacy policies or due to some other legitimate reason, their beautiful little smiles put a ray of sunshine into our hearts and from ours hopefully to yours! 🌞

 

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✨Wishlist Wednesday✨ Family Food Support


It is winter in South Africa, and that means that we need to eat more, eat more hot food, and eat more nutritional food in order to stave off the bitter cold weather, influenza, the sniffles etc.

This is vitally important for our Little Fighters, as Children with Cancer need all of their strength to build up their immune system which is compromised due to the cancer and as a result of the treatments such as Chemotherapy and Radiation Therapy.

Children with Cancer have to follow a nutritionally specific diet, which is often impossible for cancer-affected families to follow due to lack of funds.

In excess of 50% of the individual Childhood Cancer-affected families that are supported by the Little Fighters Cancer Trust have lost one income due to the child’s diagnosis. LFCT supports in excess of 100 Childhood Cancer-affected Families with groceries every month!

With one parent in the hospital for months, sometimes years on end, the sole breadwinner struggles to make ends meet at home. The Little Fighters Cancer Trust ensures that these families have food in the home while the Child with Cancer is in and out of hospital via our Feeding Our Families project.

We need YOUR help to put food on the table for many of our ‪‎Little Fighters and their Families who are really struggling.

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Understanding the Impact of Childhood Cancer Rates across Sub-Saharan Africa


Collated Childhood cancer statistics in sub Saharan Africa have been published for the first time as a monograph in the peer reviewed journal ecancermedicalscience, allowing researchers and policymakers a critical new insight into the impact of paediatric cancer across this region.

On the African continent, only South Africa operates a childhood cancer registry on the national level.

This new study brings together data from 16 of the smaller localised registers, which, as members of the African Cancer Registry Network (AFCRN), have been evaluated as achieving adequate coverage of their target population. The study has allowed for the collection of this scattered knowledge for the first time and presents it in an accessible format.

The cancers are classified according to the third revision of the International Classification of Childhood Cancer (ICCC-3) and recorded rates in Africa are compared with those in childhood populations in the UK, France, and the USA.

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Can Antioxidant Supplements Prevent Cancer?


Antioxidants are substances that can help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals, or unstable molecules. That damage, called “oxidative stress,” is linked to the kind of damage in DNA mutations that can contribute to the risk of certain cancers, as well as diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease.

In most cases, you can find all the antioxidants you need in a healthy, plant-based diet.

To date, nine randomised controlled clinical trials of dietary antioxidant supplements for cancer prevention have been conducted worldwide to study the effects of antioxidant supplements and cancer. The different studies reached varying conclusions about the efficacy and safety of taking antioxidant supplements to help prevent cancer or taking them during cancer treatment.

Some studies have shown that taking antioxidant supplements – such as vitamins A, C, E, folic acid, and beta-carotene – might help reduce the risk for certain diseases related to oxidative stress, including cancer.

Additional large randomized controlled trials are needed to provide clear scientific evidence about the potential benefits or harms of taking antioxidant supplements during cancer treatment,” the National Cancer Institute (NCI), reports.

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What You Need to Know about Medical Marijuana for Cancer


Herbs and plants were the original treatments for many illnesses and injuries people faced. As such, cannabis or marijuana use dates back centuries. It popped up in Western medicine in the 19th century as a means of relieving pain, inflammation, and spasms.

Today, marijuana use can spark some serious debate, even when considered for medical use only. But regardless of how you feel about its use, more cancer patients are turning to marijuana for a number of reasons.

Marijuana is not legal for use everywhere and researchers have their own concerns about potential side effects. For some patients, however, the benefits can be invaluable as they go through treatment.

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