Ryan Hamner is a four-time survivor of Hodgkin lymphoma, a musician and a writer. In 2011, he wrote and recorded, “Where Hope Lives” for the American Cancer Society and the song for survivors, “Survivors Survive” used in 2015 for #WorldCancerDay.
Currently, he operates his website for those affected by cancer, 2surviveonline.com and drinks a ridiculous amount of coffee per day.
Ryan wrote the following interesting article recently about How food can trigger memories and emotions.
Food, how it tastes and trying everything possible to eat nutritionally whilst undergoing cancer treatments is an important subject for anyone who has gone through the fight with cancer, so we thought we would share his post with you….
Whether your baby, toddler or young child who is currently caught up in the fight of their lives against cancer will eventually be able to have children or not is probably the last thing on your mind, but it may be something that you should take into consideration…
Some cancer treatments do not affect a child’s growing reproductive system, but others can damage a girl’s ovaries, which contain eggs, or a boy’s testes, which contain sperm. This damage may make it impossible to have a baby for a short period after completing cancer therapy or for the rest of the person’s life.
Chemotherapy, Radiation Therapy, and other cancer treatments can be very effective at doing their job, but what makes them good at fighting cancer can also cause side effects.
One of the side-effects of cancer treatments can affect the reproductive organs and have long-term effects on a child’s reproductive health. Side effects such as reduced fertility as a result of cancer treatments are known as late effects.
Your child’s risk of having late effects depends on his or her diagnosis, the type of treatment your child is getting, and the dosages. Everyone is different so it’s best to discuss the subject with your child’s medical team.
Your child’s doctor should be able to tell you whether their cancer treatment regimen is likely to have short- or long-term effects on your child’s reproductive health or not.
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).
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…
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.
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.
According to a statement issued by Bell Media, the 41-year old entertainer has pulled out of hosting Canada’s biggest music awards show, the Juno Awards, that is scheduled to be held on April 2.
Iconic rocker Bryan Adams and megastar comedian Russell Peters are set to take the stage as co-hosts.
The Little Fighters Cancer Trust joins in the rest of the world in taking its hat off to Michael for doing the right thing and putting his focus on his family and his son’s battle with cancer as we more than most realise that when a child has cancer the whole family is affected and the one thing that child needs most is the support of loving parents.
“Our thoughts continue to be with Michael — we respect his ongoing commitment to his family and look forward to working with him again in the future,” the statement reads.
A little birdie told me that there are some people who are really enjoying the Foodie Friday posts (although I wouldn’t know it as nobody ever comments 😦 ) so here are some more interesting and healthy recipes for you and your Child with Cancer to try out together.
Today we have another alternative to the usual boring breakfast that is sure to tempt your Little Fighter to eat the most important meal of the day; an easy but tasty pasta, and something sweet for your sweets.
Guaranteed scrumptious and guaranteed to tickle their (and your ) tastebuds!
WOW! Can you believe that another week has flown past and it is once again Foodie Friday? We hope that you have all had a great, healthy and fun-filled week and that all our Little Fighters are feeling strong!
As we all know, Children with Cancer often struggle to eat due to problems with their mouths or throats due to their treatment, or because cancer treatment makes one nauseous and takes away the appetite.
Eating well and getting sufficient nutrition, however, is paramount in building up their immune systems and in helping them to maintain their weight and fight the cancer
Here are some more tasty, healthy recipes that we hope that you and your Little Fighter will enjoy making and eating…
A comprehensive initiative called Global HOPE (Haematology-Oncology Paediatric Excellence) has recently been launched in public-private partnerships between American institutions and the governments of Botswana, Uganda and Malawi.
The $100m Paediatric Haematology-Oncology treatment network has been created in order to build long-term capacity to treat and dramatically improve the prognosis of thousands of children with cancer and blood disorders in southern and eastern Africa.
There are currently only 5 paediatric oncologists in Botswana, Malawi and Uganda combined, which is totally inadequate to deal with the scourge of Childhood Cancer.
“We believe in these countries there are more than 11,000 new cases annually of paediatric cancer and 40,000 new cases of serious, life-threatening blood disorders such as sickle cell disease and haemophilia. Because of these staggering numbers, more healthcare providers with special expertise are urgently needed,” said David G. Poplack, M.D., director of Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Centers and Professor of Pediatric Oncology at Baylor College of Medicine. “Global HOPE will help build capacity in the region to diagnose and care for children with blood disorders and cancer, offering the potential for transformational change in survivorship for these children.”
In developing countries, including the United States, approximately 80% of Children with Cancer survive; unfortunately this figure dips markedly in developing countries including in sub-Saharan Africa.
The mortality rate is estimated to be as high as 90% across Africa, mainly due to an inadequate healthcare infrastructure, and a lack of physicians and other healthcare workers with specific training to treat children with cancer.
The most common Childhood Cancers are blood-related, including leukaemia and lymphoma.
Children with Cancer can spend weeks, months and even years undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments for their cancer.
Cancer is insidious and unforgiving to those children and families who have to endure it. A cancer diagnosis of any kind from leukaemia to a bone tumour, can physically, emotionally and mentally impact the entire family unit in some capacity. The financial strain of cancer treatment can also cripple a family ad place great strain on both the Child with Cancer and the rest of the Family.
For children, enduring this kind of treatment means having to deal with horrible things that children should not have to deal with; things like needle pricks, nausea, vomiting, loss of strength and hair loss. That’s why finishing chemotherapy or radiation treatment is so amazing.
A ringing bell can signify many different things, but in the life of a Cancer Warrior it means an end and a beginning – the end of all those horrific treatments and hospital stays and the beginning of life as a Survivor, a “normal” child who can once again do “normal” things.
Cancers are malignant (malicious) growths or tumours caused by abnormal and uncontrolled cell division which may spread to other parts of the body through the lymphatic system or the blood stream.
An arbitrarily adopted standard of the ages used if they are childhood cancers, are 0–14 years inclusive, that is, up to 14 years 11.9 months of age.
Paediatric oncology is the branch of medicine concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of cancer in children.
Cancer isn’t fair at any age, but perhaps no cancer is more emotionally devastating than those that occur in children. Worldwide, it is estimated that childhood cancer has an incidence of more than 250,000 per year, and a mortality rate of approximately 98,000 per year. Death from Childhood Cancer is second only to death from accidents according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).