Cape Town - The Lions Club of Tokai unveiled the first phase of a massive renovation project at Tygerberg Hospital on Wednesday.
In commemoration of International Childhood Cancer Day on February 15, the non-profit organisation partnered with City Ballet and Artscape Theatre to raise awareness of childhood cancers and raise funds to renovate the children’s ward at Tygerberg Hospital.
The renovation project is being completed in phases with the first phase, the addition of a playroom, unveiled yesterday.
The work done to create the playroom, previously a storage room, was completed by club members over several weekends. The next phases to follow will be the renovation of the entrance foyer to the ward, and the revamp of the hallway.
The unveiling also took place during International Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, commemorated annually in September.
Head of the Paediatric Orthopaedic Unit Dr Mari Thiart said: “Because we’ve got the wonderful donation from the Tokai Lions of a freshly painted vibrant room with a soft couch and multiple toys and books, we’re going to use this room for our children who are mobile, so those who aren’t in a bed are able to come physically into this room and play with all the toys that are inside, either together or with their parents or with some of the allied and health staff.
“Those who are still in bed and not able to mobilise, we will ask them what they want us to bring from the room, whether it’s a puzzle or a book, so that they can also share in the fun. We just hope that this is going to be a relaxing place for the children to forget about why they are not at home and the fact that they are admitted in hospital.”
The Lions Club of Tokai media and marketing chairperson Mark Rossouw said: “Childhood cancer is one of the service pillars of Lions International, of which Tokai Lions is a part. The playroom that we opened today is going to be shared by children with cancer as well as children who are paediatric orthopaedic patients.”
The Artscape Theatre donated tickets to see Cinderella, performed by the Cape Town City Ballet, to the club. These tickets were then sold at a reduced price with the funds raised going towards the renovation project.
A portion of the proceeds from the production were also donated and further funds were raised from theatre-goers at the Cinderella showing.
Those interested in donating can reach out to the club on Facebook, its website, or contact 079 151 4679.