On the 25 August 2015 my five year old daughter was diagnosed with stage 4 Osteosarcoma cancer in the left leg.
Nothing in this world prepares you for hearing that your child has cancer. It's one of the single most overwhelming experiences anyone could possibly face.
You feel completely alone. I remember when I arrived at the Paediatric Oncology Ward at M3 Provincial Hospital in Port Elizabeth, I looked at the other mothers and thought they and the nursing staffs were like family, and here I was with my child, alone, feeling like an outsider. Well, that did not last long because that is when Marcelle and Portia from CHOC stepped in.
It is easy to think that CHOC only assists underprivileged families, but you would be wrong! Yes, I have seen the phenomenal work that they do for the underprivileged families in our ward, from the amazing sandwiches and juice that they bring us to feed our bellies, to the financial support that they give to families who would otherwise not be able to transport their child to hospital to receive treatment or come back for check-ups.
But much more than this; and as in my case, the emotional support that they extended to each and every family is truly mind blowing! They always go out of their way to make "their" kids happy, and yes, my daughter now has many "mamas" in our ward! The way that these ladies take you under their wing and try to make your journey as smooth as possible is something to behold.
They have allowed me to see a side of humanity that I did not believe existed anymore. Their selfless work and dedication to our children allows us as parents to focus solely on our children and knowing that they are always there for us, no matter what, is absolutely priceless.
CHOC has become our friends, our social workers, our “amakulus”, our shoulder to cry on. They are our warriors who raise awareness so that children will have a better chance of having their cancer caught earlier and thus increasing their survival rates. They will do anything they possibly can to make our load lighter and our children’s faces shine bright because of it. My daughter has now finished her 5th and last chemo session last month. A heartfelt “Thank you” to CHOC for all that you do for us. I truly hope that you are able to expand CHOC Eastern Cape so that families from far away will have the honor of walking beside you phenomenal ladies (and gents: p).