‘Have a heart’ for children with cancer

2016-02-10 06:00
PHOTO:sourced International Childhood Cancer Day is celebrated on 15 February.

PHOTO:sourced International Childhood Cancer Day is celebrated on 15 February.

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INTERNATIONAL Childhood Cancer Day (ICCD) is celebrated on 15 February throughout the world and has been set aside by Childhood Cancer International advocating for the recognition of childhood cancers on the back on World Cancer Day celebrated earlier this month.

This day is set specifically for creating awareness and advocacy for more attention on childhood cancer.
Previously, Childhood Cancer International (CCI) had observed that childhood cancer has been overshadowed by the cancers that most government and health institutions focus on, which mainly affect adults.

The theme this year chosen by Childhood Cancer Foundation South Africa (Choc) is “Have a heart for children with cancer”. The organisation appeals to the community to show their support in some way by creating awareness about childhood cancers.

“We encourage the community to be part of the ‘heart campaign’ by either allocating a tree to a class or school and allowing pupils or staff to make hearts and hang them on a tree with the trunk covered in blue material. Companies can allow staff to dress up in their former high-school uniform, pupils or staff can stand in the shape of a heart and have a minute of silence for children battling cancer and post pictures about it - there are so many ways to be involved,” said Chilufya Pikiti, Choc Pietermaritzburg branch co-ordinator.

Coc also has on sale ICCD chocolates for R10 and R30, and ICCD badges for R10.

“It’s all about having a heart for children with cancer. The more people get to know about signs and symptoms and of cancers in children, the more children will be diagnosed early.

“It is estimated that in low to middle-income countries, where access to care is often limited and challenging, survival rates are exceptionally low. We believe that in South Africa there are many hundreds of children each year who develop cancer, but are ever diagnosed or are diagnosed too late for treatment.

“We therefore invite you to spread the word in your families, schools, institutions and businesses that childhood cancer can be treated if diagnosed early,” he said.

For more information about the International Childhood Cancer Day and how people can take part, contact Choc at 033 347 1441, 086 111 2072 or email pmb@choc.org.za

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