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What does The RACE for Children Act Mean?


Most paediatric cancer patients are subjected to treatments that are not designed for a child’s developing body.

This is because there has been too little research into Childhood Cancer and too few new medications to treat childhood cancer.

According to the Coalition against Childhood Cancer, a mere 4 % of America’s  National Cancer Institute’s budget is dedicated to paediatric cancer research – it is even less in some other countries.

Parents and advocates say that is not enough when you consider how much life these children stand to lose.

Treatment options for Children with Cancer have been stagnant for decades, with only 3 new drugs developed specifically to treat childhood cancers since 1980, compared to the 190 new treatments that have been approved for adults in the last 20 years alone.

The Research to Accelerate Cures and Equity for Children Act that was signed into U.S. law during August this year aims to change that.

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The Agony of Childhood Brain Cancer


Many years ago it was thought that cancer was an “old person’s disease,” and unfortunately some people still think that it is…

Cancer is not an old person’s disease; it is a disease that strikes at any age and affects everyone, irrespective of gender or race.

Virtually every single person on this planet has been affected by cancer in some way or the other, be it personally, a family member or a friend…

Childhood Cancer is possibly the most devastating for various reasons, including that there is too little awareness around paediatric cancer, and that too little is spent on research into childhood cancer.

Children are treated with the same poisonous drugs that adults are and experience the same if not worse side-effects from the treatment, and lastly, the mortality rates are too high!

Seeing one’s child try to battle a disease over which one has no control and for which there is no cure is the absolute worst thing that any parent can experience, yet tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of parents across the globe have to go through this ordeal every year; watching their child sufffer while they valiantly fight this dreaded disease and too often lose the battle.

 

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Plants that will Combat Dangerous Toxins in Your Home


A Child with Cancer has a severely compromised immune system, both from the cancer itself as well as from the cancer treatments such as Chemotherapy and Radiation Therapy, and are therefore very susceptible to infections.

While it is important for Children with Cancer to eat the correct, nutritious foodstuffs, they often have problems eating due to various side-effects of cancer treatments, so any additional method of aiding in boosting their immune systems or creating a toxin-free atmosphere at their homes should be welcomed.

An easy way to ensure that the home in which a Child with Cancer lives is as free as possible from toxins is to fill your home with ordinary plants that are capable of purifying the indoor air in your home.

 

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I’ll Find You


A Cancer diagnosis is something nobody ever wants to hear, and least of all a parent of a young child, but it happens all too often and that is only the start of a devastating journey of pain, fear, depression, self-doubt and emotional and psychological stress.

For someone with cancer (and for the parents and siblings of a Child with Cancer), it is often difficult to face the pain, to face others, to keep a smile on your face when all around you is crumbling and you don’t know what to do or where to turn, to always try to be strong…

The best thing you can do for them is to just be there with support… sometimes giving support is to give advice; sometimes it is to cook a meal or clean their home; sometimes it is to take them where they need to be; sometimes it is to just listen as they unburden themselves; sometimes it is to literally be a shoulder to cry on…

… and sometimes it is just being there… not saying a word… just sitting in comforting silence… just sending love and strength their way…

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A Gratitude Post


With our chief cook & bottlewasher, Programme Manager Mandie Erasmus laid up ill in bed (Get Well Soon, Mandie), I was asked to attend an event in honour of the Little Fighters Cancer Trust on Sunday evening, and I am very glad I was.

Although, typical to Cape Town fashion, unfortunately many people who had bought tickets to the fundraising event did not pitch (or perhaps they were blown away by the 60kph winds😜😜), it was a lovely event.

It was such a pleasure to meet and chat to Gilmore and Shaakirah  from Atlantic Seaboard Views, who organised the fundraising event and published a wonderful article on the Little Fighters Cancer Trust  in their  a free quarterly, high quality coffee table lifestyle magazine, which is distributed to 20 000 households and businesses along the upmarket Western Cape Atlantic Seaboard – what great exposure for our little charity!

You can read the article online HERE  – in the Spring 2017 issue (Pg 23) – as well as Little Fighter Reece Barend’s story directly thereafter (see poem written by his mother at the end of this post).

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Nigeria Failing Children with Cancer


Cancer is a bully, worse than the playground bully. It not only tries to steal the children’s lunch money but it also steals their future. No parent wants to hear those terrifying words, “your child has cancer!

When cancer affects a child, no member of the family is spared. Cancer used to be “a disease of the elderly” but sadly it is no longer so – every year thousands of children across the globe are diagnosed with cancer, including in Nigeria.

While many childhood cancers have an excellent prognosis when detected and diagnosed early, and properly treated, this is unfortunately not so in Nigeria. The Nigerian story remains one of late detection, delay in presentation, and poor survival rate.

Although Nigeria has a high number of children living with cancer, Founder of the Children Living With Cancer Foundation (CLWCF), Dr Nneka Nwobbi, who works with many children living with cancer, said Nigeria does not have the data of the children who are battling with cancer.

Despite the burden of the disease, there is no supportive treatment plan for children with such terminal illness in Nigeria and worse still, the burden of treatment lies solely on the families of such patients.

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The Ugly Truth of Paediatric Cancer


What do you think about when you think about Childhood Cancer (if you think about it at all that is)?

Childhood Cancer is ugly, it is devastating, and it is robbing the world of its beautiful young souls all too often and all too soon…

In today’s post we want to bring you some visuals to give you some idea what Childhood Cancer is all about, because unless people SEE what this devastating disease does to Children with Cancer and their families, it is easy to discount…

Every day the Little Fighters Cancer Trust deals with the pain, the emotional distress, the absolute terror, and the utter helplessness of those families who have been told that their child has cancer.

Every day we try our best to help those families; be it through helping them with transport to and from the hospital or clinic, prepaid electricity, accommodation, cellphone airtime so that they can stay in touch with their family/doctors/clinics etc. or food parcels so that they can eat. Clothing, bedding, special hygiene products, nutritional shakes, special medical equipment, a room makeover so that the child with cancer does not have to sleep in a room that is draughty and damp – whatever we can do we will do (and much more besides)!

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I See You…. A Tribute to Paediatric Oncology Nurses


Shelby and Jonathan have a daughter named Sophie who is currently fighting for her life. When the sweet little two-year-old wasn’t feeling well, Shelby thought it was just allergies.

A follow-up appointment with the doctor didn’t uncover anything concerning and she was diagnosed with asthma. Shelby scheduled Sophie for allergy testing but one night, Sophie stopped breathing.

The Skiles family followed her in the ambulance to the hospital and that’s where their world changed forever. Doctors discovered a softball-sized mass in tiny Sophie’s chest.

The toddler was diagnosed with T-cell lymphoma and has spent months enduring terribly aggressive chemotherapy treatments. Even though Sophie’s body fought hard, her cancer still spread.

The chemotherapy has impacted her ability to walk, talk, use her hands and eat. She’s currently undergoing therapy to prepare her weakened body for a stem cell transplant.

Sometimes the days run together and Shelby forgets to take care of herself, since she’s so busy looking out for Sophie. To keep family and friends informed of Sophie’s progress and to have some semblance of contact with the world outside the hospital room, Shelby set up a Facebook page called Sophie the Brave.

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Kwazulu-Natal Cancer Patients Dying While Waiting For Treatment


Cervical cancer patient Alice Sibiya has waited more than one year to receive treatment.

Four months ago the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) released a scathing report detailing the collapse of cancer services in the province. The document accused the KwaZulu-Natal health department and its MEC, Sibongiseni Dhlomo, of failing patients.

Waiting times for life-saving cancer treatment has grown by almost 30% as KwaZulu-Natal’s cancer services crumble and stall.

According to information revealed by SAHRC chairperson Bongani Majola during a recent provincial health portfolio committee meeting, patients are now waiting up to nine months for treatment.

The average waiting time for treatment was previously seven months.

Democratic Alliance spokesperson for health in KwaZulu-Natal Imran Keeka says he doubts the veracity of the information and alleges the data does not reflect patient backlogs at Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital fuelled by a breakdown of treatment machines at Addington Hospital.

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Dedication to Aleem, Mommy Kaneez, Sister Kamie & Family


It is once again with a heavy heart that I sit here in the early hours of the morning trying to find the words to write….

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…

 

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