A significant accomplishment 2013 was the opening of three new accommodation facilities, bringing the total to 13. Our deepest thanks go to The Cows for the East London House and to our regular donor, Platinum Life, who stepped in and provided the necessary funds for the house in Pietermaritzburg.
The second house in East London opened on 23 August 2013.
Cows co-founder Kerrin Bain, CHOC Eastern Cape Regional Manager Debbie Kleinenberg, and then CHOC CEO Francois Peenz cut the ribbon at the opening of the second house in East London.
A house in Pietermaritzburg was scheduled for 2014/2015 to support the opening of the paediatric oncology ward at Greys Hospital; the establishment of which should have taken three to five years. When this was moved forward to 2013 we would not have been in a position to provide the much needed support of the CHOC House to the hospital without assistance from Platinum Life. In record time a house was purchased and officially opened on 11 September by Liesl Mathew, Operations Director of Platinum Life.
Apart from the initial purchase costs of the houses, it is often necessary to make significant modifications to adapt them to suit the needs of the parents and children. This has involved adding bedrooms, bathrooms or recreational areas and/or adapting part of the property for use by the house supervisor as well as the purchasing of furniture and fittings. Then there are the ongoing operational and maintenance costs for each property.
“The CHOC house has been a home-away-from home when attending chemotherapy sessions with our son. We stay over four hours away from Pietermaritzburg and travelling to and from the hospital is very tiresome and expensive but, because of CHOC, we have a place to stay while receiving chemo, which has really lifted the load and gave relief” Mabhena Family, Newcastle
Another achievement was the establishment of a CHOC Lodge on the grounds of Dora Nginza Hospital in Port Elizabeth, which opened in August 2013 to support the newly established paediatric oncology ward. CHOC was involved in the renovation of the lodge for several months before it was opened.