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Trial Offers Hope for Child Cancer Sufferers


Neuroblastoma is a childhood cancer that affects around 100 children the UK annually.

Neuroblastoma is also one of the most common childhood cancers in South Africa, and it can be very aggressive and hard to treat.

In early 2017, Luke Bell from Darlington began falling asleep in his school lessons, prompting his worried parents to rush him to the doctor.

Mark and Becky Bell thought their son may have had anaemia but it never crossed their minds that he would be diagnosed with high risk neuroblastoma – a rare form of cancer – just days later.

The shock diagnosis which left the family devastated marked the beginning of a year of extended hospital stays and gruelling treatment, including chemotherapy, radiotherapy and immunotherapy.

At the end of April, Luke was in the final stages of treatment and enduring what was believed to be his last round of immunotherapy when the Bells were given the devastating news that their little boy had relapsed, with scans showing a progression of his illness.

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The Inimitable Dr Audrey Evans, Modern Hero


Dr. Audrey Evans is a world-renowned oncologist whose career has spanned more than 60 years.

As the co-founder of the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House (1974), the first Ronald McDonald House in the world that led to the creation of Ronald McDonald House Charities, and the co-founder of St. James School (2011), a faith-based middle school for under-resources youth, her efforts have impacted the lives of millions across the world.

Now at the advanced age of 92, her legacy was recently celebrated by the awe-inspiring new digital series, Modern Hero, which features groundbreaking women who are making a difference in their careers and in the world.

Dr Audrey Evans reduced mortality rates by 50% for neuroblastoma patients…she’s helped 7 million families in more than 63 countries across the globe….she’s giving under-resourced youth a chance at a better life…and at 92 she “still has the ability to do something for the benefit of humanity.”

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Honouring Aleem Bowman – 👼 Forever 5 👼


Last week we put out a plea for donations to help make a make a last wish come true for young Aleem, a 5-year-old boy with terminal cancer.

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…

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Neuroblastoma


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.

Neuroblastoma may be present at birth, but generally presents in early childhood, before the age of 5 years. In most cases, by the time it is diagnosed the cancer has usually already spread to areas outside of the original site, often to the lymph nodes, bones, bone marrow, liver, and skin.

Approximately 25% of newly diagnosed neuroblastomas are in children under the age of 1 year, and for some reason this age group has the best cure rate, at 90%.

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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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Honouring Caleb Tristan van der Westhuizen – ^Forever 5^


Caleb Sept 2015Caleb Tristan van der Westhuizen was a normal, beautiful little curly-haired young lad of 4, whom his parents were very proud of, when he was diagnosed with Stage IV Neuroblastoma in September 2015.

Caleb underwent various treatments for his cancer, including various operations as well as undergoing Chemotherapy and Retinoid Therapy  (Retinoids are chemicals that are related to vitamin A. They are known as differentiating agents because they are thought to help some cancer cells mature into normal cells. In children with high-risk neuroblastoma, treatment with a retinoid called 13-cis-retinoic acid [isotretinoin] reduces the risk of the cancer coming back after high-dose chemotherapy and stem cell transplant.)

Things generally went well for Caleb, with the usual ups and owns that are part of fighting childhood cancer. Unfortunately Caleb relapsed in December 2016, and he was readmitted to hospital for pain-control.

Just before Christmas the family got the devastating news that Caleb was terminal, after which he received Radiation Therapy and Pain Control Treatment.

Unfortunately, Caleb lost his fight with cancer on 16th January 2017 and was laid to rest on Saturday 21st January. Read the rest of this entry

Sorry & Thank You, My Hero


childhood_cancer_awareness_September is International Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and once again the Little Fighters Cancer Trust is hard at work sharing everything we can regarding Childhood Cancer and trying to raise Childhood Cancer Awareness by sharing information and Personal Stories with you.

Today we are  sharing another poem filled with heartache, anguish, pain, guilt, thankfulness and all those other emotions that a parent of a Child with Cancer goes through, written by Reece Barends’ mother, Ashleigh Barends aka da mamma.

The Little Fighters Cancer Trust would like to sincerely thank all our Onco Parents that have shared with us in the hope that their stories can help other parents who have children that are ill but are not sure what the problem is, and to raise Childhood Cancer Awareness so that earlier diagnosis can be done.

We will continue to publish more poems and stories by Onco Parents throughout this month as we work hard to bring Childhood Cancer to the fore and spread Childhood Cancer Awareness – all in the effort to inform and educate other parents to the ravages of Childhood Cancer and to remind everyone that

The Best Defence against Childhood Cancer is Awareness and Early Diagnosis

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The Greatest Gift is Hope


hope_matters_childhood_cancerSeptember is International Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and once again the Little Fighters Cancer Trust is hard at work sharing everything we can regarding Childhood Cancer and trying to raise Childhood Cancer Awareness by sharing information and Personal Stories with you.

Today we are  sharing a poem of encouragement to others going through tough times, written by Reece Barends’ mother, Ashleigh Barends aka da mamma.

The Little Fighters Cancer Trust would like to sincerely thank all our Onco Parents that have shared with us in the hope that their stories can help other parents who have children that are ill but are not sure what the problem is, and to raise Childhood Cancer Awareness so that earlier diagnosis can be done.

We will continue to publish more poems and stories by Onco Parents throughout this month as we work hard to bring Childhood Cancer to the fore and spread Childhood Cancer Awareness – all in the effort to inform and educate other parents to the ravages of Childhood Cancer and to remind everyone that

The Best Defence against Childhood Cancer is Awareness and Early Diagnosis

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Celebrating Reece Barends – Neuroblastoma


NeuroblastomaSeptember is International Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and once again the Little Fighters Cancer Trust is hard at work sharing everything we can regarding Childhood Cancer and trying to raise Childhood Cancer Awareness by sharing information and Personal Stories with you.

Today we are  sharing a brief version of Reece Barends’ story with you, as written by his mother, Ashleigh Barends aka da mamma

The Little Fighters Cancer Trust would like to sincerely thank Ashleigh for sharing Reece’s story with us in the hope that it can help other parents who have children that are ill but are not sure what the problem is, and to raise Childhood Cancer Awareness so that earlier diagnosis can be done.

We will continue to publish more poems and stories by Onco Parents throughout this month as we work hard to bring Childhood Cancer to the fore and spread Childhood Cancer Awareness – all in the effort to inform and educate other parents to the ravages of Childhood Cancer and to remind everyone that

The Best Defence against Childhood Cancer is Awareness and Early Diagnosis

 

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New Drug May Overcome Treatment Resistance in Childhood Neuroblastoma


cancerPediatric oncologists from The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) have reported their latest results in devising new treatments for stubbornly deadly forms of the childhood cancer neuroblastoma.

Building on their experience in treating some refractory subtypes of neuroblastoma with the anti-cancer drug crizotinib, the researchers have identified a powerful new drug with “unparalleled” strength against forms of the cancer that resist crizotinib.

Our preclinical results provide a strong rationale for fast-tracking this drug into clinical trials in children with neuroblastoma,” said study leader Yael P. Mossé, M.D., a pediatric oncologist at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. “We expect to begin a clinical trial early this year.”

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