CHOC suffers as fundraisers cancelled

Former Sybrand Park CHOC residents at the Plumstead CHOC house, from left, are Mary Ann Kortem with her, daughter Meoleihg from George, and Sabodene Hendricks and her daughter Jamie-Lee from Riversdale.

The CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation, which is feeling the global impact of Covid-19, has put out a public appeal for help after temporarily closing some of its facilities.

The CHOC Houses are a home away from home for child cancer patients and their families who live far from the hospitals offering cancer treatment.

Regional manager of CHOC Sybrand Park office Lynette Muthuray says they were especially concerned about young cancer patients with compromised immune systems.

Under the lockdown, the non-profit has had to limit its services, and all fund-raising events have been cancelled, so the organisation is bracing for significant loss of income.

Fund-raising manager Gadija Israel said without a steady income they would battle to give their beneficiaries the support they needed. “Due to no income coming in as a result of fund-raising efforts being cancelled, the Western Cape regional office and Sybrand Park CHOC House had to be temporarily closed,” she said.

Ms Muthuray said CHOC House Plumstead and CHOC Lodge Tygerberg were still running as they provided essential services to Tygerberg, Red Cross and Groote Schuur hospitals. The families of the Sybrand Park CHOC house have settled in at the Plumstead house.

CHOC is appealing to a wider community to support them as they continue to help children who have cancer and their families.

“We are only able to do this if we have sufficient resources to implement our programmes,” Ms Muthuray said.

They have started a BackaBuddy account to raise funds online. Visit www.backabuddy.co.za/support-children-battling-cancer or call 083 418 1800 if you want to help.