The 2017 Algoa FM Big Walk for Cancer will again be taking people of all ages to the streets of Nelson Mandela Bay on the 4th of November. Three non-governmental organisations have been chosen because they cover a wide range of programmes and service people living with cancer. CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation South Africa, Cansa and Igazi Foundation are the chosen beneficiaries for the walk that raises funds for cancer organisations.
“Words do not do justice to how grateful we are to be a beneficiary of this amazing event in aid of cancer sufferers,” says Anne Marie Stephenson of CHOC. These funds will have a huge impact as current statistics indicate that children in the Eastern Cape are especially vulnerable. The Eastern Cape has the third highest childhood population and is also the second largest province-characterised by extensive under-developed rural areas with limited access to health care facilities or regular public transport. Poor children bear the brunt of disease in the EC, made worse by poor nutrition and living conditions. And yet, these are the children who have the least access to a health care facility. There are only two State Specialist Paediatric Oncology Units (POU’s) available to them, covering a distance of 168,966 km² over twelve districts. They are the Frere hospital in East London and approximately 300 km away, the Provincial Hospital in Port Elizabeth (PE).
Most of the children supported by PE are between the ages of 2 and 15 years, with the majority from from the disadvantaged and rural communities of: Alexandria, Steytlerville, Booysen Park, Chetty, Jacksonville, and townships such as: Zwide, Motherwell, Kwadesi, Soweto, Joe Slovo and distant communities such as: Craddock, Graaf Reinette Alexandria, Port Alfred, Grahamstown, Tsitsikama. The PE branch currently supports children with cancer who are receiving regular treatment as outpatients at the hospital; those that are active chemotherapy patients and children that are seriously ill and admitted to the ward.
The services provided by the PE branch include:
- transport from home and to the hospital for out-patients and patients discharged from the ward
- psychosocial support in the POU Ward for parents and siblings to help develop the necessary coping mechanisms;
- facilitation of parent support groups;
- practical support in the form of clothing, basic necessities not on hand or not affordable for the family and food parcels for those assessed to be in crisis, including bereavement support;
- referral opportunities for additional family support;
- community awareness and early detection education;
- Volunteer mobilisation.
- Providing daily sandwiches and tea for the children receiving their treatment at the Hospital (mostly individual volunteers and donors).
- Collection of food parcels, blankets and clothing for the poorest patient families (as assessed by our social worker). Most of these collections were coordinated by church groups and interest groups.
- Special transport of patients needing to receive specialised treatment at hospitals outside of the Paediatric Unit.
The funds that will be received from the Algoa FM Big Fun Walk are highly appreciated as CHOC heavily relies on funding from corporates, individuals and fundraising events. “It’s a positive cycle because the funds donated to the organisations are raised through Nelson Mandela Bay’s support of the walk,” says says Dohné Damons PR and CSI Manager at Algoa FM..
The Algoa FM Big Walk for Cancer is a 5km route along the beachfront in Summerstrand. Each year the Nelson Mandela Bay community creates a ribbon of pink in remembrance of those who have passed, in support of those who are affected and to encourage the idea that cancer can be beaten. The 2017 event will take place on 4 November.
Source: Port Elizabeth – MyPR.
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