The Little Fighters Cancer Trust supports children diagnosed with cancer and their families, by offering wide variety of individualized assistance, including, but not restricted to, provision of food and groceries, transport, clothing, furnishings, bedding, medication, medical equipment and 24 hour emotional support. Parents of diagnosed children often lose or leave their jobs to be able to provide the special care and support required, which, together with the huge emotional strain of having a terminally sick child, often disables the family financially and emotionally. Little Fighters steps in to help create a support system in order for the children and their families to maintain their dignity, and with it, provide hope.
Promoting and advocating Childhood Cancer Awareness is another of Little Fighters Cancer Trust’s priorities. Childhood Cancer is responsible for more child deaths than HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis combined. (South African Tumor Registry, 2011) Less than one third of actual childhood cancer cases are recorded in South Africa. Many children are misdiagnosed or not diagnosed at all due to a lack of awareness concerning the Early Warning Signs of Childhood Cancer. An increase in Awareness, also among medical staff, will lead to earlier diagnosis of childhood cancer cases, resulting in a higher percentage of survivors.
One of the organization’s most tangible projects is Bag of Hope, through which they distribute bags filled with essential provisions to cancer children and their mothers at hospitals in the main Pediatric Oncology treatment centers in the Western Cape and Gauteng. Last year they distributed 800 bags (200 short of their goal of 1000). They are hoping to raise this number significantly this year, and extend the service to the Eastern Cape and KZN. All monies raised through Swim for Hope will go towards this project.
See www.littlefighters.org.za for more information.