CHOC Newsletter September 2015


Dear friends and supporters,

Happy spring! New beginnings are afoot, with the launch of our loyalty programme, CHOC-olate, which is a first for an NGO in South Africa. You may have noticed our website has had a facelift. Please visit our early warning signs page. In this issue you can read about the results of our awareness programme and CHOC Gauteng South and Northern regions' renovation of the in- patient ward at the Charlotte Maxeke and the upgrade of the bone marrow unit at Steve Biko.

We are continually touched by the immense kindness and generosity of our donors and friends who support children with cancer, and their families. Thank you for making our work possible.

Warm wishes,
The CHOC Team

This September – Childhood Cancer Awareness Month – we are encouraging everyone to go for gold and buy a gold ribbon from the nearest CHOC regional office to help raise awareness.

With the expansion of our awareness programme, CHOC will continue to strive to ensure that all children with cancer are diagnosed, and diagnosed at an early stage, and gain access to paediatric oncology treatment. This will lead to more children being cured of cancer and less invasive treatment.

Thank you for your contribution towards ensuring that every child with cancer or a life- threatening blood disorder has the support they need. Please continue to walk this path with us.

CHOC's Awareness Programme shows results

Since CHOC began the Awareness Programme in 2011, in Gauteng and neighbouring provinces – as far afield as Venda in Limpopo – a CHOC-employed nurse has trained over 12 000 professional and enrolled nurses, home-based care workers, paramedical professionals and community members, including traditional healers. In our regions CHOC staff does outreach training. During this time overall occupancy in CHOC houses has increased by 23%.

In July this year, CHOC was flown to Venda by Flying for Life, an initiative that flies resources to under-resourced places, for a further week of training in the Makhuya district. A highlight was presenting to 26 local traditional leaders, and the community, at the local lekgotla.

CHOCs Awareness Programme shows results

CHOC Newsletter 03

A Programme That Rewards You For Doing Good

As you know, children are at the core of everything we do at CHOC. And when thinking of a new way to raise funds, we thought about children. When kids do something good they are rewarded with a treat, so why not reward adults too? Grown- ups also like to receive a reward, especially when they do something good – like donating to CHOC.

And thus we came up with a loyalty programme, CHOC-olate. By joining, and paying a minimum monthly contribution of R59.95, you gain access to a range of two for the price of one rewards. It's CHOC's way of saying thank you for donating towards our holistic support of children with cancer and other life-threatening blood disorders, and their families. If you are a loyal monthly donor, via EFT or debit order, and you would like to change to becoming a loyalty member, please contact CHOC head office.

Bone Marrow is the cornerstone of the immune system

The Steve Biko Academic Hospital has the only dedicated paediatric bone marrow transplant unit in South Africa. Unit head, Prof David Reynders, explains that the immune cells – the white cells – are produced in the bone marrow and these form the cornerstone of the immune system. In terms of childhood cancer patients, around 10% of leukaemia patients require transplants –those that have relapsed or are at high risk.

Due to the expanding need for more transplants it was decided to convert one of the five isolation rooms in the paediatric oncology ward at Steve Biko into a second dedicated bone marrow transplant room.

CHOC Northern Region initiated and managed a renovation and upgrade of both rooms, to ensure a high standard of hygiene, as well as making them as comfortable as possible. The cost was R160 000 – half came from the Cows and Cell C put in the other half. Radio Jacaranda's Good Morning Angels broadcast live on the official opening on June 24th.

Thank you to those who voted for CHOC as your favourite charity! CHOC came second and won R35 000 towards our programmes of support of children with cancer.
If you don’t have a card yet, please visit and sign up. It’s really easy!

For upcoming events, please
see the CHOC website.

There are a few tickets left for the fundraising Business Breakfast with Clem Sunter on 18 September at The Wanderers Club in Johannesburg.

The topic is: The World and South Africa beyond 2015 - How a fox sees it.

Date: Friday. 18th September 2015
Time: 8:00 am
Venue: The Vista, The Wanderers Club
Cost: R375 per person or R3 000 per table

Registration & Breakfast from 7:00 am

Upgrade of the Paediatric Oncology Unit at Charlotte Maxeke

In 2014, the CHOC Gauteng South Region undertook a full-scale refurbishment of the children's oncology ward 286 for in- patients, at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital (CMJAH). Prior to this CHOC was involved with an upgrade of the day clinic, Ward 294.

Former regional manager, and current programme development manager at head office, Adri Ludick, explains: “One of our programmes is to work in close liaison with the medical team and to ensure that the paediatric oncology units are warm, child-friendly places. Upgrades and renovations of these units is not our core business. So CHOC only embarks on these kinds of projects once funding to cover the costs of core programmes is in place.”

It all started with two members of the Cows, Sean and Shelley Roberts, deciding to climb Mount Kilimanjaro to raise money to renovate the CMJAH paediatric day clinic, Ward 294, because their child had been treated there. But the ward still needed to be upgraded and the hospital did not have funds to allocate. Neither did CHOC.

However, the project started to gain momentum as CHOC had meetings over the next months and sponsors came on board. From having not once cent for the project at the beginning of 2014, with the help of committed sponsors the dream of creating a flagship ward for paediatric oncology units nationwide was realised.
On Tuesday 9 December, CHOC and the donors proudly handed the new state-of-the-art ward to hospital CEO, Ms Gladys Bogoshi. Between 600 and 800 patients are admitted to the day clinic, ward 294, per month whilst the in-patient ward 286, which currently has 26 beds, is home to children in the battle against cancer.

Nestea 'Take the Plunge' for CHOC

Nestea is launching, Take the Plunge, a campaign in proud association with CHOC on the 1st of September. Six local celebrities will each plunge backwards into a body of water after enjoying a refreshing sip of Nestea, all in an effort to raise up to R100 000 for CHOC.

Then the celebrities will do an individual plunge, every Saturday from 12 September to 17 October 2015. Before each official plunge, fans will be able to send in ideas of outfits they want the celebrity to wear. The fan with the most creative outfit idea gets to plunge alongside their favorite celeb. In the end, the celebrity plunge with the most votes will have the honour of handing over all the funds raised to CHOC.

To take part simply like Nestea South Africa on Facebook, follow @NESTEASA on Twitter and join the #TakeThePlunge conversation.

Votes close on 30 October 2015.
Each vote is worth R10.

Please note that the CHOC Charity Shop has closed down. However CHOC regional offices still accept in-kind donations. What they can’t use directly in the CHOC houses, they sell in bulk to raise funds.

Thank you to all our in-kind donors and supporters of the shop for your loyal patronage.
CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation SA
086 111 3500 |



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