LFCT received a donation of a Wonderbag in December from Tiger Foods to either give to a beneficiary or use however we saw fit.
“The Wonderbag“ is an amazing South African invention, and is a simple but revolutionary non-electric heat-retention cooker. It continues to cook food that has been brought to the boil by conventional methods for up to 12 hours without the use of additional electricity or fuel. The Wonderbag is also a Coolerbag – it keeps food and beverages cold. Freeze it, bag it, store it, serve it.
The Wonderbag is great for mothers of Children with Cancer because it will free up their time in the kitchen while allowing them to cook nutritious, wholesome food for their family. They can start the food on the stove and then place it in the Wonderbag and go about their business without any worries – when they are ready for dinner it will be ready for them…
We decided that more could be done if we raffled the Wonderbag off, which we did @ R25 per ticket.
We sold 97 tickets, which means that the Wonderbag, which is valued at around R300, actually brought in R2 425-00 which was then utilised towards purchasing food for our Family Care Packages.
The draw took place on International Childhood Cancer Day which was Thursday, 15 February 2018 and the Wonderbag was won by a long-time supporter and one of the firt people to buy tickets, Mieke Batelaan.
Greys’ Hospital Pietermaritzburg Outreach
Our Little Fighters Cancer Trust Representatives do SUCH great work, and we would not be able to do what we do without our volunteers and LFCT Reps. What many individuals do not understand is that sometimes the mothers of these children just need someone to TALK to who is not a nurse or a doctor, but who can just offer some empathy and personal CARING from one human to another. It is often the small acts of kindness that mean the most!
Our Pietermaritzburg Rep, Lauren Hook, did a quick visit to Greys’ Hospital Pietermaritzburg to bring some joy to all the Little Fighters there and was rewarded with broad smiles and infectious giggles.
Lauren does this regularly once a month and is always cheered by the gratefulness shown by the children as well as the mothers/carers for the little gifts for the both children (and mothers/carers whenever LFCT can). There is basically one ward and in it are children of all ages who really get very bored, so any games, puzzles etc. are always warmly welcomed.
On this visit, Lauren handed out toys, colouring books & crayons, packs of cards, puzzles, puppets, finger spinners, face cloths, toothpaste and toothbrushes, and every single gift was humbly appreciated.
Lauren had the following to say:
The little boy in the blue shirt giggled so much at the finger spinner that the doc on duty came to see… made his mom smile and hug me… priceless moment…
The boys ended up doing a puppet show game while I was there… loved it …
I met a little girl Chantal… u see me chatting to her and mom in one photo… she is four turning five… a month’s diff to my daughter… I cried when I got to work… but her mom and her are very positive… so humbled with the gifts.
Lauren, thanks for spreading the love….
Family & Funeral Support
Camy September came to us very late in her diagnosis, and although we helped the family out with some clothes and toys for Camy as well as with a few Family Care Packages and some much-needed emotional and psychological assistance for the parents, she was soon re-admitted to hospital and earned her angel wings a few days later.
LFCT stood by the family throughout this difficult period and organised for donations of food for the funeral as well as financial donations to cover the funeral cost itself and LFCT paid for all the flowers for the funeral.
All LFCT HQ staff members also attended the funeral in Franschoek and the family expressed their gratitude for our support.
Midlands Mini Easter Egg Hunt & Market
Our absolutely wonderful PMB Rep, Lauren Hook represented LFCT was approached as part of the Midlands Mini’s Easter Hunt & Market, where she and her daughter manned a table to create awareness of Childhood Cancer and spent time talking to those who attended.
While attendance was apparently not that great due to other events taking place at the same time, fun was had by all who attended and it was a great opportunity to raise awareness and do a bit of fundraising as well.
Kyle Bedroom Makeover
Unfortunately, our Teenage Warrior, Kyle Adams, who had been in remission for a while already and who had just started high school, had a relapse and was re-admitted to hospital. His doctors informed the family that his cancer had returned, and as it unfortunately generally goes when a cancer comes back, it was extremely aggressive and had spread to many new areas.
Kyle was put back on a very intensive chemotherapy cycle which unfortunately meant that he was vulnerable to infection and that his platelets and blood counts would get lower rather more quickly. He became weak from the intense chemotherapy sessions and rather dehydrated, and eventually after putting up a good fight once again the doctors told his parents that there was no more they could do and Kyle was taken home to spend his last days in his own familiar surroundings.
This necessitated Kyle requiring a new special bed that had the right kind of mattress as well as a High Density Foam Overlay so that he would be comfortable, as well as some new bedding and clothing to wear around the house so that he did not always have to be in pyjamas – we also got him some new curtains so it was actually a makeover.
LFCT did a special fundraiser for this and Kyle was elated with his new bed, bedding, curtains and clothing. Unfortunately Kyle earned his Angel Wings on 25th November, 2018.
Greys’ Hospital Easter Outreach
While LFCT did not do our usual Easter outreaches in favour of sending some lovely Easter goodies to our Families in their Family Care Packages, we did also send some stuff to our rep in Pmb, who did her usual monthly outreach at Greys’ hospital, delivering colouring books, crayons, craft puzzle books, tooth brushes, tooth paste, Easter eggs and love and hugs, all of which were warmly and gratefully received.
May is the month that we honour Mothers in South Africa, and if there was ever a mother that deserves to be honoured, it is the mother of a Child with Cancer.
Mothers’ Day Outreach Pietermaritzburg
On 7th May the Little Fighters Cancer Trust Representative in Pietermaritzburg, Lauren Hook, and a team of wonderful caring women took time out to treat all the Mothers of Children with Cancer in the Oncology Ward at Greys’ Hospital in Pietermaritzburg to a bit of an early Mother’s Day Picnic in the garden of the hospital.
The mommies were treated to some lovely snacks and juice and gifted with beautiful mugs and chocolates, and thanks to the wonderful team of ladies from Blu Gel Hair Salon, a relaxing Indian Head Massage. Friends from Salon Gemini also gave the ladies a manicure and did their nails.
All of the children in the ward were also given snack-packs, beanies, colouring-in books and crayons.
Mothers’ Day Outreach Tygerberg Hospital
On Tuesday 15th May, Team LFCT and Friend and Supporter Charlene Elliot took the opportunity to make the Onco Mommies at Tygerberg Hospital G3 Paediatric Oncology Ward and those attending the Paediatric Oncology Day Clinic, feel a little bit spoiled by organising some lovely presents and snacks for them.
It was lovely to see the mommies just sit down and relax for a bit, to have a bite to eat and talk and laugh a little. The ladies thoroughly enjoyed all the treats and as we always take more than is needed (just in case), plates were piled high to take back to the wards to eat later.
Each Mother received a lovely Mother’s Day Bag filled with goodies such as facecloths, toothbrushes, cream, bonbons, chocolate, and loads more, and each of them also received a snack-pack for their child containing some sweets, chips, a toy, and a gender/age-specific colouring-in book and crayons.
We shared a bit about what LFCT does and how we could help them and made sure that every one of them had a business card (each Mother’s Day Gift Bag also contained an informative pamphlet) and knew how to contact us so that we could register them with LFCT – and many of them already have.
The mommies, in turn, shared a bit about their journey, about their fears and about some of the hardships that they are faced with – one lady is all the way from van Rhynsdorp and was brought straight to Tygerberg from the Vredendal Hospital without being able to even go home to get clothes or anything (as so often happens) and another was there from Klawer and has been staying at the hospital for the past 6 months already with no end in sight….
There are minimal photos as the taking of photos in a Paediatric Oncology Ward is contentious, cancer is still very taboo in some cultures and most of the mothers are very shy – we can also only take photos when given permission. Over and above that, our mission on the day was to make the mothers feel appreciated and allow them to de-stress for even just a few minutes, so we did not want to put pressure on them in any way to pose for photos or fill in forms etc.
Over and above the hospital outreaches done, each mother registered with us received a mother’s day gift or 2 in the usual monthly family care package.
Little Miss & Mr Winelands 2018 Pageant
Lizelma and I were privileged to attend the Little Miss & Mr Winelands 2018 Competition as the Little Fighters Cancer Trust was the beneficiary on the night, and what a wonderful, sparkling, professional, fun evening it was.
Young ladies and gentlemen from all over the Winelands took part and strutted their stuff on the stage – we were just very pleased that we were not asked to be judges as they had an enormous task ahead of them – but they acquitted themselves very well. It was such fun to watch the little ones, the young ladies were all decked out in their finest gowns and the gentlemen were decked out in their fines too, bow ties and all [ Lizelma wanted to take one or two home with her…. 😉 ]
LFCT had a table in the foyer highlighting what we do so that the entrants and parents who had, apart from paying financial a fee, donated product as part of their entrance fee as well, could see exactly what it is that they are supporting…
Upgrading of Pre-Loved Charity Shop
As part of our restructuring and efforts to provide better and improved services to our beneficiaries, part of which we do via funds from our income-generation project, our pre-loved shop, we sold off old, defunct stock, got some great new stock donated and improved the flow of our shop to make it more attractive to shoppers.
We also included a little reading-spot, or somewhere where a weary mother can just take the load off for a few minutes…
Share the Warmth Tygerberg Hospital
Our outreach to Tygerberg Hospital was once again heart-warming and heart-wrenching at the same time….
One of the stories that stuck with me was about the one little boy of 5 who was laying under a single hard cold hospital sheet, all on his own in the room crying his little heart out. Lizelma immediately asked if she could pick him up and when she did and wrapped him in a lovely soft, warm fleecy blanket the tears miraculously dried up – when the nurse wanted to put the sheet back over him he refused – when we left he was sleeping peacefully under his blankie with his beanie on his head and a beautiful smile on his face…
Children and carers in the ward as well as those at the day-clinic received some lovely warm winter goodies, blankets and toys, sweeties, puzzles and more.
Share the Warmth Greys’ Hospital
LFCT joined forces with the Pietermaritzburg chapter of 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela to deliver some lovely knitted and crocheted blankets to the children as well as to their carers, as well some beanies and the usual toys, puzzles, sweets etc. for the children.
As can be seen from the photos, everyone enjoyed the visit, including the ladies from 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela, as they also got to see exactly what is needed by these children and their carers, and what it is that LFCT does. They spent time sharing laughs, doling out love and listening to the stories…
Hoërskool SPS Brandfort
Hoërskool SPS Brandfort was one of only 3 schools to respond to our Barefoot for a Day Schools Challenge – and they responded MAGNIFICENTLY!!!
We were contacted by a representative of the School, Franchelle Posthumus, who advised that the school holds an annual ‘Mnr. & Mej. SPS’, and that they are allowed to choose a charity organisation every second year, and would really like to choose Little Fighters Cancer Trust if we would agree.
Of course we readily agreed and said “yes please, and thank you very much, we would love to be HSPS’s beneficiary for 2018!”
The finalists collect donations for the organisation of choice, and in order to assist them in this as well as to spread Awareness about Childhood Cancer, we sent the school some Childhood Cancer Awareness posters and other info, as well as Gold Childhood Cancer Awareness Ribbons to sell. The contest was held on 11 April, 2018 and it was a wonderful occasion filled with excitement, fun and hope!
A total of R11 000.00 was collected, all of which went towards purchasing winter goodies for our Little Fighters as part of our “Share the Warmth” Project.
Share the Warmth Family Project
Once again, although we did not do all our usual hospital-ward outreaches, we did still take care of all of our Families at home. New warm winter clothes and warm blankets are also not within the budget yet very necessary as Children with Cancer generally get very cold while undergoing treatment for their cancer and this can make them feel worse. Soft warm blankets and warm winter clothing helps keep them warm.
We did our usual fundraising for donations of product for the cold winter months, and each of our families received more than sufficient warm winter clothing, accessories, blankets and food to see them through.
Gracie Rae Celebration of Life
We lost too many children to cancer in 2018, and unfortunately one of our toughest Little Fighters, Gracie Rae Philbin eventually also sadly lost her fight in 2018.
LFCT stood by Gracie and her family right through until the very end, and also contributed towards her Celebration of Life, which the family chose to hold instead of a funeral. LFCT paid for and manned a candy-floss machine and donated 300 gold ribbons.
Paarl Boys Primary School
The Little Fighters Cancer Trust is very grateful that Paarl Boys Primary School (KleinBooisHigh) once again chose LFCT as a beneficiary of their Charity Week, held from the 27th to the 31st of August, 2018.
LFCT was asked by the Grade 5 English Teacher, Tasja Stroebel, to come and do a presentation to the boys to inform them more about Childhood Cancer and its warning signs, and also so that they could see where the goodies that they were collecting and donating actually go, and this we did on Wednesday the 8th of August.
The boys were very interested, listened attentively, asked valid questions, and watched the presentations with big eyes. What we found really interesting and also rather sad, is that the majority of these young lads knew someone who has/had cancer, and even sadder that most of them knows/knew a Child with Cancer :’(
It was great to see that they could fully grasp the devastation that a Child with Cancer has on the whole family, and the need for assistance for our beneficiaries, and understood exactly what it is that LFCT does on a daily basis.
We were then contacted to collect the donations that the Grade 6 & 7 pupils had collected, and all we can say is WOW!!! These young gentlemen and their families really came through for our beneficiaries in a BIG way.
Brand Ambassador Mr SA Finalist
LFCT has joined forces with a Mr SA 2018 Finalist, Johan Daniels, who is doing sterling work collecting donations and representing LFCT and the work we do at every opportunity possible. We started this partnership off with an interview on RSG during which we discussed everything about LFCT and the work that we do, raised awareness around the early warning signs of Childhood Cancer and much more… in Afrikaans…
September is International Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and once again the Little Fighters Cancer Trust was hard at work trying to raise Childhood Cancer Awareness by sharing information and Personal Stories.
Turning Paarl Gold for Childhood Cancer
This year, in keeping with our mission to create more visibility for LFCT as well as do more awareness-raising, we went all-out with our “Go Gold” campaign, which included:
- GOLD RIBBONS: We wrapped the trees in Paarl (where allowed by Council) and our offices with huge gold ribbons;
- AWARENESS TABLES: We had awareness tables at various spots around Paarl, spreading awareness pamphlets and selling gold ribbons;
- We distributed Large Posters of Early Warning Signs to various schools and crèches;
- Wielie Walie Crèche sold gold ribbons for us;
- Tjokkerland Crèche made LFCT their charity of choice;
- Anre Bene, a 15 yr old high school student sold fake hair to raise awareness and funds;
- We inundated our social media sites with posts about Childhood Cancer;
- Projek BieTjie Liefde – via two pageants, the Special Needs Pageant and the Bietjie Liefde Pageant, held on 22 September – collected 329 tins of foodstuffs for our beneficiaries Family Care Packages.
NG Kerk Vorentoe
NG Kerk Vorentoe in the Northwest Province sold ribbons to be tied to the tree of choice on their property throughout the month of September in order to raise awareness and funds, and also donated the proceeds of their collection plates for the month to LFCT.
Alba Livery Durbanville Jump for Cancer
LFCT also partnered with the Alba Equestrian Centre in Durbanville to hold a Jump for Cancer on the 23rd of September to raise Childhood Cancer Awareness and funds.
Carla, the organiser, came up with the great idea for family & friends to sponsor those taking part via purchasing Cancer Awareness Ribbons (for various cancers including child cancer) @ R10 each, and with various prizes up for grabs for most ribbons and most creative use of ribbons, they virtually FLEW!!!
NOBODY thought that this would be SUCH a success – put it this way; sales of ribbons brought in R11 170 – 00 in other words, 1 170 ribbons were sold!!! That is A LOT of ribbon which had to be cut and folded and A LOT of tiny safety pins which had to be attached!!!
Professional photographers, a renowned artist, various individuals in the horse-world, and the whole extended family of the owners of the Alba Equestrian Centre came on board and made this an event to be remembered! There was even a horse that had just recovered from cancer taking part!
There were, of course many families taking part as there were entrants from tiny tots to those who are, let us just say, older 😉 Great fun was had by all, whether they entered the show or were just reclining on the sidelines under the trees and supporting…. This was really such a wonderful, relaxed, dignified way to spend a Sunday with friends and family in an absolutely beautiful setting…
Even though I was working, it was one of the loveliest, most relaxing Sundays I have spent in a long while…
ReMax High Tea
ReMax in Paarl held a high tea for awareness around breast cancer, but made LFCT the beneficiary of the day. Our Program Manager and Shop Manager were pampered along with all the other ladies on the day, and received valuable beauty and breast cancer awareness. Cupcakes and bracelets were sold to raise funds for LFCT.
Harcourts Winelands Golf Day
LFCT was the beneficiary of the Harcourts Optimum Annual Charity Golf Day held at Pearl Valley Golf Estate on 12 October, where we had an awareness table and gave a short presentation around Childhood Cancer and the work that LFCT does at the prize-giving that evening.
A great day was had by all and we got a chance to mingle and speak to various individuals about LFCT. Everyone got into the swing of things during dinner and the auction went very well, raising a nice amount of funding to add to that already raised via other mans on the day!
Mr Miss Ms Spotlight Pageant
LFCT Ambassadors Johan Daniels and Warda Geswindt organised a beauty pageant in Stellenbosch of which LFCT was the beneficiary. As with the other pageants, entries were part financial and part donations of products that LFCT distributes to our beneficiaries.
We manned an awareness table at the event on the day and over and above the donations made by the pageant, we also received some monetary donations, sold some ribbons, distributed some awareness pamphlets and posters, and also received a surprise monetary donation from the CANSA Strong Woman group.
LFCT Christmas Party
LFCT partnered with the Lions Club of Paarl who sponsored and organised a wonderful Christmas Party for our local Beneficiaries and their Families on 25 November, 2018.
While the Lions organised the venue, eats, snacks and entertainment, LFCT organised the presents and gift bags for all our local beneficiaries and their siblings. The Drop Outs Motorcycle Club also came on board with some small gifts. LFCT organised two tour “bussies” to collect our Families and deliver them safely back to their homes again after the party – thanks to our great drivers from Ruiters Tours & Shuttle Services.
There was finger painting, face-painting, two jumping castles, a trip in a riot vehicle, balloons, pancakes, sweeties, cold drinks, fruit, burgers and chips, ices, cupcakes, and lucky packets to take home as well as a wonderful Father Christmas handing out presents (which is what Christmas is all about for children as we all know) and Christmas Crackers to all of the children and a great young magician who kept all the kids (and most of the adults) enthralled with his sleight of hand. All in all, as can be seen from the photos below, a great time was had by everyone and it was some very tired children and parents that entered the buses to go home at the end of the day.
St Joseph’s Home Visit
On 13/12/18, Lizelma and Tiema paid a surprise visit to deliver Christmas presents to one of our Little Fighters at St Josephs Home – it was really an extra special visit as it was also this beautiful little boy’s 3rd birthday!! Isn’t little Junathan just too cute for words? He LOVED all his presents and all the love and attention showered on him by Lizelma and Tiema.
LFCT also delivered snack-packs for all the other little tykes in the ward and although they could not eat them then as it was nap-time (and who can sleep with such a sugar rush), we are sure that they really enjoyed the contents when they woke up.