The CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation celebrated its 40th anniversary last Saturday, March 30, at Turfhall stadium in Athlone.
Western Cape regional manager, Lynette Muthuray, said they decided to have it as a family fun festival to celebrate families.
“It is a huge milestone for us that CHOC can support children and teenagers with cancer for the past 40 years, it takes a whole lot of effort to raise funds to sustain our services, we are very grateful and hope that we will continue for many more years to come,” she said.
The celebration was attended by staff from the Western Cape CHOC offices in Sybrand Park, Plumstead and Tygerberg, CHOC volunteers, parents and children who stay at the CHOC homes and members of the community.
Those who attended the afternoon celebration could buy clothes and food from vendors while the children enjoyed jungle gyms, jumping castles and tractor rides.
There was even a Miss CHOC junior pageant held for all the children who attended the celebration. Miss Earth South Africa, Margo Adonis, was also there to support the event and to crown the winner of the junior pageant.
“I did a toy drive previously at the CHOC home at Tygerberg hospital. I met most of the organisers there so I also signed up to be a volunteer with them,” she said.
Lelethu Gqokoda and her son, Khanide, 7, who is receiving cancer treatment at the Rondebosch Medical Centre and is currently staying at the CHOC home in Sybrand Park, enjoyed the family festival and the support received from the home.
“The CHOC home experience is brilliant, you don’t feel like you far away from home. The food and beds are good and the people who work with us feel like family,” she said.
Kids Kicking Cancer, a non-profit organisation that works closely with CHOC and uplifts the spirits of children who are cancer patients at hospitals, was there to give the children a demonstration of what they do.
Sensei Ilze van der Merwe and Viola Micor from the organisation taught the children some breathing techniques through basic martial arts moves. “We teach the kids three powerful words, which is power, peace and purpose – we teach them that they are powerful martial artists, who have the ability to take control of their lives and the cancer that they are fighting,” said Ms Van der Merwe.
Gadija Israel, CHOC fund-raiser, said the 40th anniversary was phenomenal and that they appreciated the support from donors as well as from doctors and nurses who walked the journey with them. “We invited cancer survivors, cancer organisations, cancer supporters and cancer fighters and their families who all joined us here,” she said.
For more information about CHOC, call 086 110 6441, email Wcape@choc.org.za or log on to www.choc.org.za/