Today is Diwali, the Festival of Lights, a day of celebration that spiritually signifies the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance, and hope over despair.
Today is also the day that our Little Fighter, Aleem’s greatest wish would have been made manifest as he would have flown up to Durban with his mommy Kaneez and sister Kamie to meet Gambit the Dolphin at uShaka Marine World today.
Today is also the day that Aleem’s Family and Loved Ones will say their final goodbyes as his funeral takes place at 9am…
Emotions are all over the place… there are no words…
It is with overwhelming sadness and aching hearts that today we have to share with you the heartbreaking news that Little Fighter Aleem Bowman earned his Angel Wings at 19H20 last night, 15th October.
Rest in Peace, Aleem ^Forever 5^
Aleem would have flown to Durban with his mom and sister – accompanied by Mandie from the Little Fighters Cancer Trust – this coming Thursday to meet Gambit and the other dolphins at uShaka Marine World…
In the meantime an opportunity was presented for Aleem to experience his other love – the love of flying and all things do with flying, speed and height – by going on a chartered flight around Cape Town with his mom and sister on Friday afternoon.
Unfortunately this was also not to be…
They were all gathered at the airport ready to go on the flight then, just before they were about to board the plane, Aleem started vomiting up blood and his nose started to bleed.
He was rushed through to Red Cross Hospital and given platelets after which he and his family returned home. Aleem’s Mommy asked the doctor to be straightforward with her about how much time she thought Aleem had left, and the doctor told his mom that they should spend as much time with Aleem as possible and that they need to prepare themselves, as he could go at any time.
Aleem was not well over the weekend and was admitted to hospital on Sunday morning.
The doctor informed Aleem’s mommy at this stage that her son would most likely not make it through the day…
Aleem was diagnosed with Stage IV Neuroblastoma in September 2016, and underwent RCCH High Risk Neuroblastoma Protocol until April 2017, which included tests, scans, blood work, regular transfusions, hospitalisation, intensive chemotherapy and various other treatments.
Unfortunately none of these worked for Aleem and he was eventually put on maintenance chemo for a short while after all treatment options had been pursued, until that too was stopped as it was not helping and in actual fact may have done more harm than good to continue.
Aleem’s mommy decided that palliative care would be continued at home as she did not want Aleem to spend his last little while in a hospital.
Our deepest condolences go out to Aleem’s Mommy Kaneez, sister Kamie and all other Loved Ones.
May Allah grant him a high place in Jannah In Sha Allah
May his Loved Ones find contentment in knowing that their Beautiful Boy is no longer suffering and in pain
Ya Allah place sabr and contentment in the hearts of this family In Sha Allah Ameen
Forever in Our Hearts
Today we put out a very urgent plea for help to make a wish come true for young Aleem, a 5-year-old boy with terminal cancer.
Little Fighter Aleem Bowman was born on 25 July 2012. When he was admitted to Red Cross Children’s Hospital on 15 September 2016, he was diagnosed with Stage IV Neuroblastoma.
Aleem went through RCCH High Risk Neuroblastoma Protocol until April 2017, which included tests, scans, blood work, regular transfusions, hospitalisation, intensive chemotherapy and other treatments, and loads more.
Mommy Kaneez, a single mother, has had to handle a lot, and unfortunately this became even worse when the doctors informed her recently that there are simply no more treatment options for Aleem. He was on maintenance chemo for a short while, which was given purely to extend the time he has with his family, but even the maintenance chemo has now been stopped, as it serves no purpose anymore, and could now be harmful.
Aleem lives with his mommy (who had to give up her job to look after Aleem) and his older sister Kami at Kaneez’s elderly Parents’ home. Things have been very difficult for this family and The Little Fighters Cancer Trust has been offering whatever assistance we could such as food, clothing, bedding, and other practical needs since 7 October 2016.
Aleem was friends with another Little Fighter who lost his Fight last year, but who, before he died got his greatest wish and was able to visit Durban and have a very special interaction with the dolphins at Ushaka Marine World. Aleem saw the photographs, and has been talking about the dolphins for months!
Last week LFCT received a letter from Aleem’s Oncologist, positive about this travel and clearing him medically for the trip!
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.
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.
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.”
A potential side effect of chemotherapy treatment is issues with taste — either food not tasting like anything or a bitter or metallic taste in one’s mouth.
Food for Children with Cancer going through Chemotherapy is important, because they need to keep up their strength up and maintain weight.
Why does this happen, and what can you, as a parent, do to cope?
As chemotherapy kills cancerous cells, it kills other types of cells too, including taste cells. Fortunately this change in taste is usually temporary – the chemotherapy agents in the blood stream get into the saliva, giving it a metallic flavour.
The most important thing that you need to do for your Child with Cancer during and after treatment is to see that they eat sufficient and that what they eat is nutritious, which can be rather difficult when your child has no appetite, may have sores in their mouth from the chemotherapy and when everything tastes different anyway.
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.”
Jennifer Kranz was diagnosed with an especially aggressive form of a deadly childhood brain tumour, Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG), on her 6th birthday in 2013, and died less than four months after being diagnosed.
Jennifer’s parents heard about the work of Stanford paediatric neuro-oncologist Michelle Monje, MD, PhD, who studies donated DIPG tumour tissue to understand how its biology might be targeted with new treatments during Jennifer’s illness, and during their final appointment at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford, the Kranzes asked if they could donate their daughter’s tumour for this research after her death.
“They said ‘Yes, here is the paperwork,’ and we signed it,” Libby said. Then she realized the donation form asked only for consent to study the tumour on Jennifer’s brainstem, making no mention of the metastases that had spread to the frontal lobe of her brain and down her spine.
“But we want to donate all of it,” Libby, Jennifer’s mom told Sonia Partap, MD, Jennifer’s oncologist. The Stanford team made the arrangements, and Libby also asked Monje to try to figure out how Jennifer’s tumour had spread so fast.
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.