A young cancer patient. Picture: Grant Erskine/African News Agency (ANA) Archives
A young cancer patient. Picture: Grant Erskine/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

67 ways to help this Mandela Day: Giving a child with cancer the support they need

By Supplied Time of article published Jul 18, 2020

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A cancer diagnosis is often devastating to the patient a well as their loved ones. When a child is diagnosed with cancer, the whole family is affected. The Childhood Cancer Foundation (CHOC) aims to provide the best possible support for children with cancer and life-threatening blood disorders, and their families.

CHOC is made up of caring, committed and passionate people who stand up for and support the well-being of children and teenagers diagnosed with cancer or life threatening blood disorders and their families.

Our vision is to keep more than hope alive for the children and their families. This is done through a number of initiatives that make the cancer journey a little easier for the families.   

Provision of Accommodation

CHOC has 13 accommodation facilities throughout the country where children and their parent/caregiver can find comfort in knowing that they have a safe place to sleep, are able to attend treatment sessions and have access to nutritious meals.  

Transport funds

Families are issued with transport funds to ensure that they are able to bring their child to treatment and follow-up visits at the paediatric oncology units.  

Psychosocial Support

The CHOC social workers/counsellors and social auxiliary workers fulfil an extremely important role in the paediatric oncology multi-disciplinary team. 

Through their skills and expertise – counselling and psychosocial support – they bring much needed support to children, parents and family members, as well as support and alleviate pressure on the medical and nursing staff. 

They function on the ward floor and walk the path with the families from the time of diagnosis until the end of treatment or end-of-life.  

Practical Support

A cancer diagnosis can place enormous financial pressures on a family. In many instances one caregiver has to give up their employment to be with the child during the treatment and recovery phase. The majority of the families we work with come from extremely impoverished areas. 

In order to relieve the financial burden from these families CHOC provides the following practical support: 

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Carebags filled with toiletries to newly diagnosed patients. These are topped up where we can during the year. 

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Bereavement funds to the value of R500 are given to every family on the death of their child. This is just a small token to assist the family through this difficult time.

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Nutritional support is offered in the form of food parcels. The food parcels are given to families through the CHOC social workers based at the paediatric oncology wards.

CHOC has a national office in Johannesburg with regional offices in:  

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Gauteng South 

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Northern Region (Pretoria, Limpopo and Mpumalanga) 

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KwaZulu-Natal (Pietermaritzburg and Durban) 

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Western Cape 

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Eastern Cape (Port Elizabeth and East London) 

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Free State

How you can help

Because CHOC offers a wide range of services to children and families, there is a huge need for donations of cash and food to sustain these vulnerable patients. Volunteers who are able to assist in fundraising, marketing and telesales are also welcome.

To find out more, visit the  website or call 086 111 3500

Banking details

CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation

Standard Bank

Killarney Branch

Current Account: 20 027 806 1

Branch code: 00 72 05

* Find more organisations and worthy causes to support on Mandela Day:  https://www.iol.co.za/trends/mandeladay

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