In 2017, I had the privilege of being part of a team that towed Layla, a young cancer sufferer, around the 94.7 Cycle Challenge and by doing so, helped her tick off the bucket list item of completing a 94.7. Sadly, Layla lost her battle with Ependymoma a little over a year later.
CHOC SA is a parent support organisation established in 1979, by a group of parents and medical professionals in a voluntary capacity. In 1978, CHOC Pmb was opened and in 2001, CHOC nationalized and brought the regional CHOCs under one umbrella.
Mission: Our mission is to be an all-encompassing NGO for children (18 years and under) with cancer, and their families, by offering a wide range of holistic supportive care from diagnosis, until remission or end of life for the child. These services are available to supplement the medical interventions provided by the tertiary hospitals that we work in.
Our core programmes provide the following:
- Free, clean accommodation for a child/teen with cancer and a caregiver for as long as the child is in treatment
- 3 free meals per day and unlimited tea and coffee and cool drinks. If a child has a special need we will accommodate
Child, Teen & Family Support
- Sandwiches when patients come for weekly or monthly treatment at the clinic
- Transport money for both caregiver and child to go home after treatment and return for the next appointment
- Groceries to indigent families or families who fallen on hard times
- Financial bereavement support and a ward and clinic volunteer programme
- Our dedicated social worker engages with the family from the time the child is diagnosed until remission or in unfortunate circumstances, end of life
Awareness & Advocacy
- The heartbeat of our programme is to create awareness of the early warning signs of childhood cancer. By doing this we can ensure that children are diagnosed early and have a better chance of survival. Earlier diagnosis can bring a substantial reduction in mortality and long-term morbidity
A word from our swimmers
CHOC do truly amazing work. When children are diagnosed with cancer, they embark on a very long journey with prolonged and difficult treatment programs far away from home. CHOC help children and their families on their journey, providing a home away from home with outstanding emotional and practical support.
It has been an absolute honour for me to wear the white and black cow print of the CHOC Cows for the last 10 years at Midmar Mile. There is no better team to be a part of, from the organisers within CHOC, who welcome us and look after us every year, to all the other amazing swimmers and their families and supporters who I have met at the event over the years. Many have become friends and some are almost family!