ACCORDING to the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA), currently between 800 and 1500 children are diagnosed with cancer annually.
Most South African children, regardless of ethnicity, are affected by Leukemia (blood cancer). In black South African children, Retino Blastoma (cancer of the eye) is the second most prevalent cancer and in white South African children, various types of brain tumours are the second most prevalent cancer.
It was for this reason that the association established the Tough Living with Cancer (TLC) programme that focuses on awareness of childhood cancers and early detection. This programme is aimed at children and teens diagnosed with cancer or affected by cancer (a family member has cancer), where support is provided to the family as a whole in both scenarios.
It is estimated that at least half of all children with cancer in South Africa are never diagnosed. This is due to a lack of knowledge regarding the disease amongst children and as a result many children are diagnosed too late, when the cancer is already in an advanced stage, thus diminishing the possibility of successful treatment. Ironically, up to 77% of childhood cancers may be cured if detected early enough.
CANSA’s CEO, Sue Janse van Rensburg commented: “We recently signed a partnership agreement with Bestmed to take health education to the people and we used this opportunity at their Annual Golf Day to not only launch our partnership, but to recommend a programme that would be beneficiaries of the proceeds raised at this event.
“We thank Bestmed and all the companies for their generous pledges and donations.By joining hands, we can make things happen. The incidents of cancer are growing at an alarming rate and we cannot win this battle alone.
Our TLC programme is dedicated to providing tangible love, care and support to children and families affected by cancer, and the donations we received will make a huge difference. We not only need financial assistance, but also resources, which means people, commitment and time.”
“We are constantly looking for ways to give back to the communities and we believe that through unity and co-operation with other corporates, we can contribute towards long, healthy and happy lives of our nation,” said Sasja la Grange, Corporate Communications Manager at Bestmed. “We are grateful to the
companies and individuals who contributed to this worthy cause. Over R30 000 by means of pledges and a raffle was raised on August 28 at our annual Golf Day,”
“We look forward to an impactful partnership with Bestmed over the next three years. We believe that this partnership is a step towards creating a more informed community that will lead to healthier lifestyles. We can all join in this fight and the best way to win is prevention, which entails educating people about adopting a balance and healthy lifestyle,” concluded van Rensburg.