Blog Archives

Warning Signs of Paediatric Cancers

awareness_childhood_cancer_boxing_penguinCancers 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).

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High Calorie/High Protein Diet for Children with Cancer

calorie-protein-pyramidNutrition is an important part of the health of all children, but it is especially important for Children with Cancer, who often have poor appetites as a result of the cancer itself, or due to the side-effects of the cancer treatments.

Both cancer and its treatments may affect a child’s appetite, tolerance to foods, and their body’s ability to use nutrients. Eating the right kinds of foods before, during, and after treatment can help a child feel better and stay stronger.

For parents of Children with Cancer, the challenges of enticing children to eat nutritious, healthy foods are even greater than those faced by parents of healthy children, and require untold levels of patience and creativity to overcome.

Cancer and cancer treatments can also affect the way your child’s body tolerates certain foods and its ability to process, store and appropriately use nutrients at a time when your child’s body needs the energy and nutrients from a healthy diet more than ever.

The nutrient needs of Children with Cancer vary from child to child. Your child’s doctor, nurses, and a registered dietitian can help identify nutrition goals and plan ways to help your child meet them.

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World Cancer Day ~ 4th February: “We Can ~ I Can.”

world-cancer-day-2017dEvery year on 4th February,  a truly global event takes place ~ World Cancer Day unites the global population in the fight against cancer in an attempt to prevent millions of deaths each year by raising Awareness and Education about the disease, urging governments and individuals across the world to take action.

Despite recent scientific progress in finding treatments and improving patients’ care, 8.2 million people still die each year from cancer, nearly 50% of them between the age of 30 and 69. This figure is expected to rise to 11.5 million by 2025 and 13 million by 2030.

Low- and middle-income countries are more affected than high income countries – two thirds of global cancer deaths occur in these places – and this trend is predicted to continue in the next decade.

One of the ways to reduce mortality rates is to improve early diagnosis strategies. This is the message that the World Health Organization, working closely with World Cancer Day’ organisers, wants to put forward.

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Little Fighters Cancer Trust Pre-Loved Charity Shoppe

charity-shopsThe Little Fighters Cancer Trust employs various methods of fundraising and getting donations of goods and services, including the establishment of a charity shop in Paarl last year.

While we can only donate new clothing, toys etc. to Children with Cancer due to the fact that they have lowered immune systems and therefore a heightened risk of infection, your pre-loved items can still make a HUGE difference in their lives, by allowing us to sell them in our charity shop and use the proceeds from the sales to support Children with Cancer and their Families.

Providing the services and goods that we do costs millions of rands every year; and year on year the costs are just getting greater, with added Children with Cancer and their Families as well as the ever-increasing cost of living in South Africa.

We understand that the general public is also struggling and cannot always help with cash donations, but everyone has loads of “stuff” that they periodically need to get rid of.

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Teen Cancer Fighter Miché Aces Matric

January 12, 2017. Cape Town. Vanessa Gertse received the MEC's special award for exeptional academic achievment. With her is Premier Helen Zille, MEC Debbie Scafer and Brian Schreuder - Head of education dept. Photo by Ruvan Boshoff

Miché Gertse aka Iron Girl, is a Little Fighters Cancer Trust Teen Fighter and Ambassador who has just, despite battling through overwhelming odds, attained TWO DISTINCTIONS and a university exemption.

Although 17-year-old Miché , a matriculant from Bernadino Heights High, may not have been the Western Cape’s best matriculant, she was awarded the Ministerial Award for Excellence last week by Premier Helen Zille at her official residence in Gardens‚ Leeuwenhof, together with 60 other members of the class of 2016 honoured by the provincial government.

Miché’s story is one of overcoming overwhelming odds and extreme courage in the face of devastating Childhood Cancer.

Miché was first diagnosed with osteosarcoma (bone cancer) in 2007 at the age of 10, whereafter she had a tumour removed from her right leg, and her femur was replaced with a metal prosthesis.

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What Goes Down at LFCT’s Santa’s Workshop

cute_santa_and_kid_png_clipartHere at the Little Fighter’s Cancer Trust the many are served by the few, and those few do everything that needs to be done.

As anyone who knows anything about a non-profit organisation knows, there is no such thing as a “job-description” because no matter whether you are management or janitorial staff, when the chips are down, you jump in and do what is needed at the time…

… This is never more true than at the end of each year when our Christmas Elf Project takes place…

Here is a little glance into what goes on in the LFCT Santa’s Workshop once all the gifts that have been donated/bought have been collected from our Christmas Elves and transported to the LFCT Santa Workshop ( which is housed in our “Office” – the home of the Founders of LFCT).

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Happy Birthday to a Legend!!

mandie-erasmusToday the Little Fighters Cancer Trust would like to take some time out to say Happy Birthday to one of our own, Mandie Erasmus.

Mandie is our Project Manager, Fundraiser, Events Manager, Public Relations Officer, Press Officer, Shoulder-to-cry-on, Packer, and General Dogsbody….

Mandie is also a single mother of two wonderful young lads and has eyesight problems that make her virtually blind and leave her with excruciating migraines more often than not because she cannot afford to have the operation that could remedy the problem. Despite this, Mandie is always there, always available to help… often fighting through blinding migraines and crippling nausea… yet always fighting for our Little Fighters and their Families ~ 24/7/365.

In short, Mandie is a LEGEND and an Angel in Human Form. Nobody who has ever dealt with LFCT has not spoken to Mandie at some stage or the other…

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Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital Finally Opens

nmchWOW!!! At last!! This going to mean SO much to our Little Fighters   

The Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital, an idea that began with a vision by Nelson Mandela as far back as his presidency in the 1990s, has finally become a reality.

Thank You, Tata Madiba!!   

The hospital, overseen by the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, along with various local and international partners, is dedicated exclusively to paediatric medicine and care. It will welcome its first patients TODAY, 2 December 2016!!

The world-class hospital has had a difficult road to realisation, struggling to raise the $100-million (R1.4-billion) needed to complete the project in the midst of a tough global economic environment and, more crucially during the last stages of the project, without the guidance and vision of the hospital’s patron, Nelson Mandela, who died in December 2013.

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World Cancer Leaders Summit 2016

World Cancer Leaders Summit Paris 2016Over 300 global health leaders from more than 60 countries gathered at the World Cancer Leaders’ Summit in Paris, France, on 31 October 2016 to discuss progress made in cancer prevention and control over the last seven years, and the challenges that remain to deliver the global target of a 25% reduction in premature mortality from non-communicable diseases by 2025.

Moderated by the award-winning journalist Mrs Baria Alamuddin, Summit participants discussed the global progress made in cancer prevention and control over the last seven years, and the pressing challenges that remain to deliver the global target of a 25% reduction in premature mortality from cancer and non-communicable diseases (NCDs) by 2025.

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TOYS needed URGENTLY for LFCT Christmas Elf Deliveries

xmas-toys-smFolks, we are running out of time to get all our gifts ready for the LFCT Christmas Elf Project. We start doing Christmas Elf Deliveries at the end of November so that we are able to include Little Fighters who might be well enough to be sent home for the Holiday Season in our Gifting.

The Christmas Elf Project provides Children with Cancer with Christmas presents which many of them would not have otherwise.

For many children this will be the only Christmas presents they will get. Apart from supporting Individual Children with Cancer, their siblings also get Christmas Gifts and many of these destitute Families are also gifted with a full month’s worth of groceries so that they too can share in the Festive Season without having to worry about where the next meal will come from.

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Honouring Jessica Whelan – ^Forever 4^

four_year_old_jessA few weeks ago we published a post called The Real Face of Childhood Cancer; the story of little Jessica Whelan, a 4-year-old terminally ill Child with Cancer.

Her father, a photographer, snapped a photo showing his daughter suffering from the pain caused by neuroblastoma and shared it on Facebook, pleading with followers to raise more awareness for paediatric cancers.

Unfortunately, little Jessica lost her 13-month battle with cancer on Sunday, and her father posted a heartbreaking tribute to his ‘little princess’ whose photograph, showing her grimacing and arching her back in pain because of neuroblastoma, caught the attention of millions and made her a worldwide symbol for children battling cancer.

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A Little Bit of What We Do

updateIt is impossible to share everything that the Little Fighters Cancer Trust does on this blog – this is normally shared on day-to-day posts on our Facebook Page, but every now and again I feel that it is necessary to let others, who may not be local and who may not be members of the Page, know what it is that we do on a daily basis and what actually happens to all the donations we receive.

The Little Fighters Cancer Trust works with absolute transparency, and our books are available for scrutiny at any time, because we believe in what we do and what we do is to see that everything that is donated goes directly to the benefit of our Little Fighters and their Families (many of you will know that our “office” is in the home of our Founders, and that most Team members work from their own homes, using their own resources, and that the majority of Team LFCT is made up of volunteers.)

In the past 2 months, apart from supporting the Hussain Family in various ways, including arranging for Muhammad’s Dream to be made possible a few week’s before his death, we have also continued to support over 200 Families and our more than 2 000 Children with Cancer on a daily basis across the length and breadth of South Africa.

The number of Children with Cancer and their Families that we help is not constant, as there are deaths that occur virtually weekly and there are also children newly diagnosed with cancer as well as others that join OUR FAMILY constantly. There is basically never a day that passes that LFCT does not get at least one request for help – from a family, from a hospital, or from various other sources…

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