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It has now been a month since the lockdown in South Africa and it is affecting each one of us. For the children, teens and families affected by childhood cancer, treatment continues in the midst of these new uncertain times and they depend on CHOC to continue our work through our core programmes and services.

The Coronavirus has increased the needs of these families and we have seen a significant increase in the demand for some of our services. In addition, and of great concern, is the fact that children and teens who are undergoing treatment, and those who are in remission, are at higher risk of contracting the Coronavirus by virtue of their compromised immune systems. Whilst the world is in lockdown it is virtually impossible for children who are undergoing treatment to be safe indoors as they need to continue with their life saving treatment.

The economic situation in which we find ourselves means that there is a large percentage of individuals who are currently unemployed. It is this reality that many of our families are facing. Without any form of income they are unable to transport their children to and from the hospital, are unable to provide the necessary nutritional requirements the child needs to stay health and are not in a position to afford accommodation close to the specialised treatment during a long treatment period.

It is at this moment that CHOC’s essential services are needed. We need to ensure that the children are safe, are able to attend treatment and that the parents and caregivers are relieved of the financial stress. “Many of our children travel far distances to receive their treatment, but obviously now with lockdown and travel restrictions parents and children are struggling. Children and parents can come and stay at the wonderful CHOC accommodation facility” says Prof. David Reynders – follow the link to listen to his message. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-VYsoQTYt4&t=10s

The Vodacom Bulls players teamed up to help the children impacted by the Covid-19 lockdown. As part of a series, the players will share video clips where they read kids bedtime stories to raise money for the CHOC house in Centurion that provides a home away from home to the families living far away and who have to travel to Pretoria to receive treatment at the paediatric oncology units in Pretoria. https://www.facebook.com/CHOCFoundationSA/videos/243257307030938/

We thank everybody who has shown their support and we are extremely grateful that you share our vision and entrust us to do everything in our power to ensure that our children and their families are safe. If you would like to donate to the CHOC Accommodation Programme please contact Ina Schomper, CHOC Northern Region Regional Manager, at 060 420 9217 or via email ina.schomper@choc.org.za.

CHOC is a non-profit organisation made up of caring, committed and passionate people who stand up for and support the well-being of children and teenagers diagnosed with cancer or life-threatening blood disorders and their families. CHOC aims to save lives through early detection and making the journey of those who are affected by childhood cancer, less burdensome through the comprehensive support programmes we offer.

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