The function was held at the Royal Elephant Hotel & Conference centre - a stylish venue with great food. We were each asked to bring a teddy bear along with some sweets tied around it's neck - these were donated to Duncan's trust who distributes them to hospitals with Pediatric oncology units. After coffee and a welcome, we were asked to open our one goody bag, to find a mosaic kit for a cupcake potholder. We then did the glue part of the mosaics with an explanation as to how to complete the grouting at home. I know that most of the girls loved this as the venue was filled with giggles and laughs.I loved this - I am so going to do more mosaics.
|My cupcake pot stand|
After this we had a brief address by Veronica de Jager of CHOC - the Childhood Cancer Foundation of South Africa. This was followed by an hour long talk about childhood cancer by Derick Stedall, an architect and founder of the Duncan's Trust. Dercik lost his son Duncan at age 15 to cancer. Duncan's trust support and care for children and their families who are diagnosed with cancer. They also form part of the Just Footprints Foundation which takes kids with cancer and AIDS on camps, sisters, nurses, prosthesis, wheelchairs and all provided. Derick told their story as a family and the proceeded to show us some pictures of the kids they support and their stories.There are some amazing and touching stories of survival, hope and love. There are also stories of abandonment of sick children, brave battles lost and last moment joys. There was not a dry eye in the room. I sobbed like
SAINT SILUAN* WARNING SIGNS FOR CANCER IN CHILDRENS: Seek: Medical help early for persistent symptoms
I: Eye: White spot in the eye, new squint, blindness, bulging eyeball
L: Lump: Abdomen and pelvis, head and neck, limbs, testes, glands
U: Unexplained: Fever, loss of weight and appetite, pallor, fatigue, easy bruising or bleeding
A: Aching: Bones, joints, back and easy fractures
N: Neurological signs: Change in behaviour, balance, gait and milestones, headache, enlarging head
*Saint Siluan was a Russian monk who died on Mount Athos in 1938. He prayed ceaselessly for all humanity.
The most common childhood cancers are Leukemia and brain tumors and it is suspected that some genetic link is possible in most cancers.
Just as important, what can we do to help in the fight against childhood cancer:
- Volunteer at CHOC or Footprints
- Donate platelets - this can be done at the SA blood transfusion service.
- Register as a stem cell (bone marrow) donor - it is a simple blood test. More tests are only done if you are a potential match. Currently a child has a 1:100 000 chance to get a match in SA - the more of us on the register, the better the chances are of a match if your own child might need it some day.
- Be aware of the signs of cancer, as above, and be on the lookout for it in your own children and those around you. Early detection is critical for survival.
- Donate money to CHOC or Duncan's trust - all the proceeds this morning went to Duncan's trust.
|Le goody bag and contents.|