Who is Keemo?
Keemo is a calf who is proud of his heritage but at age 14 he is more concerned with spending time with his friends; going to mooovies and playing sport. His favourite sport is soccer (like his dad) and he can often be seen on weekends cycling with his parents. The event that he enjoys most is the 947 Cycle Challenge where he cycles with his parents as part of the CHOC Cows.
When he grows up, Keemo would like to be a doctor (his hero is Professor Horace Horzowsky; the paediatric oncologist who treated him).
The impact of cancer on Keemo's life?
As a survivor, Keemo is committed to helping other children in the same position. He knows that he survived because his cancer was diagnosed early and he received the correct treatment at the academic hospital close to where he lives.
Keemo's role with CHOC?
Keemo assists CHOC with their Awareness Programme through:
- Speaking to his friends and their parents about the early warning signs of childhood cancer
- Speaking at his school (all animals are vulnerable, Keemo likes to impress upon his friends; cancer does not only happen to calves)
- Writing articles on the warning signs for publication in the school magazine (Thandi assists)
Keemo provides practical support to children with cancer by visiting the wards and speaking to the children about:
- Healthy diet
He also urges the children to return to the hospital for follow-up treatment.
A brief history of Keemo
Keemo was born on a cold winter’s day in the year 2000 to his parents are Thandi and Mfundisi. In 2006, at the age of six and a half, Keemo was diagnosed with cancer. Happily, with good treatment by a specialised paediatric oncologist and the support of CHOC, Keemo is now fully recovered and is a survivor.
Keemo’s mother Thandi
Due to her experience with Keemo’s illness, Thandi volunteers at the local paediatric ward once a week, assisting the medical staff and supporting other parents whose children have been diagnosed with childhood cancer.
Keemo’s dad Mfundisi
Keemo’s dad Mfundisi is a teacher and a keen sportsman. His son’s illness also had a profound impact on him and he has become a committee member of CHOC.
Keemo is very close to his family especially his grandparents on his father’s side. It is rumoured that grandfather Kowley was involved in the armed struggle and his grandmother used to provide milk to some of the present-day members of the ruling party including our president!
Keemo - a symbol of hope
Keemo is a shining example of how one small calf can fight off a disease that kills many adults and he is the official representative of hope for CHOC.