INTERNATIONAL CHILDHOOD CANCER DAY

International Childhood Cancer Day (ICCD) is a global collaborative campaign to raise awareness about childhood cancer, and to express support for children and adolescents with cancer, the survivors and their families. ICCD spotlights the need for more equitable access to treatment and care for all children with cancer, everywhere.

Globally, every year, more than 400,000 children and adolescents below 20, are diagnosed with cancer. The rate of survival depends on the region, with at least 80% survival in most high-income countries but as low as 20% only in low- and middle-income countries. In South Africa, the South African Children’s Tumour Registry (SACTR) reports about 1000 new cases a year for children under the age of 16. This is an increase from 10 years ago. The survival rate of cancer in children in South Africa is around 55% and seems to be on the rise.

The Target Goal of the WHO Global Childhood Cancer Initiative is to eliminate all pain and suffering of children fighting cancer and achieve at least 60% survival for all children diagnosed with cancer around the world by 2030.

This represents an approximate doubling of the current cure rate and will save an additional one million children’s lives over the next decade.

There are many reasons why there is a huge disparity between high income and low- and middle-income countries. Amongst these is the late or missed diagnosis of children and the high rate of abandonment due to either stigma or access to financial resources which allow the child to complete treatment.

ICCD is held on the 15th February 2021 “The campaign encourages individuals and organisations to stand up and speak out for kids with cancer, survivors of cancer, and their families. It is a day where we can unite in solidarity, be advocates for childhood cancer and promote initiatives that promote the plight and needs of children and teenagers with cancer, their families and the survivor”, Taryn Seegers, Communications Coordinator.

The public can show their support of children and teenagers living with cancer by participating in CHOC’s 2nd Flip Flop Day Campaign on the 12th February 2021. Flip Flop Day is an annual event and It is a day of fun and colour because although childhood cancer is in no way light hearted, South Africans certainly are, and when it comes to our children we need to rally behind them, as CHOC SOLE-diers to truly show that we are a force to be reckoned with.

“We are so excited for our 2nd Flip Flop Day”, says Taryn Seegers Communication Coordinator of CHOC. “Flip Flops are most certainly a part of almost all of our wardrobes, and who isn’t looking for an excuse to wear them? Now we’re giving the public the chance to show us their heart by wearing a sole to bring some colour to the streets and highlight the importance of the work that CHOC does, and raise some much needed funding, to keep our young South African’s and their families supported through the long and challenging journey that they are facing. Our first Flip Flop Day raised well over R1, 5 Million and showed us that it truly is possible to make a massive difference in the lives of these families and we are convinced that this year will be even more successful. Have a heart, wear a sole and set your toes free to stand behind us on 12 February 2021.”

The campaign will be supported by PNA Stationers, one of South Africa’s largest and most successful retail stores, selling everything from stationery to art and craft materials, books and educational books; as well as Tekkie Town, retailer of the widest range of the best quality footwear at the best possible prices. The public will be able to pop into any of these stores nationwide, and grab their Flip Flop Day sticker. It’s simply never been easier to make a difference.

CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation SA is the largest non-profit organisation working in the field of childhood cancer. Every year we provide services to approximately 2 500 children, teenagers and their families. Our core services are aimed at ensuring that all children are diagnosed with cancer and receive the care and support they need to increase their chance of survival.

These services provide:

• Emotional support through their cancer journey as we as palliative, end-of-life care and bereavement support.

• Practical support for patients and families including essential Carebags, nutritional food support, bereavement support, accommodation, transport to and from treatments and educational and awareness programmes on the early warning signs of childhood cancer.

• Awareness and training in the Early Warning Signs of Childhood Cancer to the greater community as well as health professions. Training includes the Silian Early Warning Signs, myths and stigmas and referral pathways. For more information please visit www.choc.org.za

Debra Robins

Savvy and insightful, Debra is the publisher and editor of Odyssey Magazine. Author, wordsmith and natural remedy consultant, Debra brings together extensive expertise in both corporate and personal wellbeing and combines this with her passion to uplift personal and planetary wellness through the power of words.

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