Kidzcan Children's Cancer Relief

KidzCan Vision: A compassionate world where children with cancer are given the chance to lead healthy and fulfilling lives. Kidzcan Mission: KidzCan is dedicated to increasing the survival rate of children with cancer in a loving and caring environment. Strategic Objectives: To provide a supportive and caring environment for children with cancer and their families. To improve early detection and effective treatment for children with cancer.
Dec 13, 2013

What a Year!

To our family of Kidzcan supporters spread all over the world, 2013 has been a year of year of tremendous growth and success.  You gave us, through your donations, time, support and prayers, the tools to make this happen.  

And because of this, we continue to work to ensure all children in Zimbabwe are given the right to the fight to survive childhood cancer. 

Here’s where we are at from January to December 11, 2013:

443 total children received assistance.

359 total children were newly diagnosed. (This number exceeds the number of children we assisted last year in total - amazing!)

152 total children underwent and received support for various and numerous laboratory tests.

202 total children received chemotherapy and related medications.

168 total children underwent and received support for various and numerous diagnostic tests.

71 total children were supported with multiple blood and blood products.

107 total children received transport assistance to support them to return to A4 Special Ward for each of their chemotherapy treatments and other required follow-up tests.

More than 1,200 medical practitioners were educated by Kidzcan about the early signs and symptoms of childhood cancer.  We have reached into all provinces and will begin in January to each out to district level practitioners.  There are 59 districts in the country, and after we reach all districts, we will continue to spread the information on into the 1,200 municipal wards.

Know that every one of your contributions is gratefully appreciated.  Your support is translated into the giving of hope to families who ordinarily would not have this real chance for their child to survive cancer.

 God Bless and Merry Christmas from,

Andrea Whatman, all our volunteers and staff, and especially the kids.

visit us on facebook at www.facebook/kidzcanzimbabwe


Sep 10, 2013

Hello from Andrea Whatman

Hello from Andrea Whatman,

It is such a privilege to be part of all that Kidzcan is, and I am personally blown away by the doctors and medical staff I work with, the people I have met through the work, and, always, the patients. The success of the third year of our Education and Outreach Programme highlighting early detection of childhood cancers has resulted in an increase in the number of new patients we are providing services. Since January of this year, 220 NEW patients have been diagnosed and treated. That is in addition to the patients we continue to provide assistance to in the form of drugs, transport, follow-up testing, and blood products, who had been diagnosed in previous years. And, we can confidently say that this increase is attributable to the workshops we have been carrying out.

This year alone, Kidzcan has held 23 workshops in 14 locations throughout Zimbabwe. We have reached more than 1,000 participants - both within the formal medical sector through hospitals, and in the traditional medical practitioner community. This education programme has accessed widespread areas of Zimababwe. More places have been reached, and as such, more people now know what to look for and where to send the children. They also know the services Kidzcan can offer patients who need the assistance, and can let families know there is help out there for them.

As a result, Kidzcan is able to offer real hope to children that previously might not have been diagnosed, or had been diagnosed, but given no treatment because it was out of reach for the family financially. This is wonderful and ground breaking. It is ensuring diagnosis and treatment for children with cancer in Zimbabwe.

It also means we need to put more effort in to ensure we can meet the needs of these patients. Along with the increased number of patients who reach Parirenyatwa Hospital for diagnosis and treatment, comes extra pressure on the ward - both in terms of actual beds available and demands on staff. This also impacts on Kidzcan’s demands - resulting in increased costs to provide more diagnostic tests, lab tests and the life-saving drugs to patients. We are meeting those demands, but are feeling the stretch.

It is because of donors like you that we are able to grow in order to provide the services to an increased number of patients as they present themselves. With the programme extending to the Matebeleland area by the end of the year, we will expect to see a further increase of newly registered children with cancer come onto the ward. An increase of newly diagnosed patients is what we are seeking. It is why we formed Kidzcan. We cannot, and will not, put the genie back into his bottle. God has made a way for Kidzcan for many years in an environment that was not conducive to thriving. If we could do it under those circumstances, we can continue to do it in the face of increased demand. Kidzcan is the sum-total of many generous hearts and the personal sacrifice of individuals - not only financially, but also, the most precious of commodities - time.

Don’t ever underestimate your specific and individual support, whether it be prayer, encouragement, donations-in-kind, or finances. We simply could not do anything without your input. Hold Kidzcan close in your prayers and hearts, and know that we remain totally committed to children surviving childhood cancer here in Zimbabwe.

Sincerely, Andrea Whatman, Executive Director

Jun 10, 2013

Kidzcan's Making an Impact

This year has been one of tremendous growth for Kidzcan. In 2012, Kidzcan provided assistance to 415 children.  It is only the beginning of June, and we have already reached more than 580 children! Many of the newly diagnosed children arriving to Paririenyatwa’s pediatric oncology ward are doing so because of Kidzcan’s education and outreach programme aimed at informing medical professionals and traditional medical practitioners about the early signs and symptoms of childhood cancer, and the services Kidzcan provides.

One of these children is Gerard. He is 4 years old and comes from the high density area of Kadoma, where he lives with his parents. When Gerard began to seem unwell and show signs of a swelling head, his parents brought him to the nearby hospital. They found themselves having to sell personal belongings to pay for the mounting medical bills they couldn’t afford, and yet Gerard’s symptoms continued to worsen.

In desperation, they visited a Pentecostal faith healer to ask him to cure their son. Around this time, this paster attended Kidzcan’s education and outreach workshop held for Traditional Medical Practitioners in Kadoma.

That was in January of this year. 

At the workshop, the paster approached Prosper, Kidzcan’s education and outreach officer who was conducting the workshop. He told him about Gerard, and that after learning about the symptoms of brain cancer, he thought Gerard needed to be sent to Parirenyatwa. It is ground-breaking for a traditional medical practitioner to be open to this conventional intervention.  This is not the first time we have seen this openness and willingness to collaborate to save a child’s life.  It has been an amazing process to experience this first-hand.

Gerard was brought in and admitted onto the neuro-surgical ward - A2.  Initially, doctors suspected that he was suffering with hydrocephalus - a build up of fluid on the brain. But, as a result of diagnostic investigations - paid for by Kidzcan - doctors confirmed that Gerard, in fact, had a brain tumour.

Surgery was performed to remove the tumour, but a small bit was left that could not be removed. Gerard subsequently underwent 3 sessions of radiotherapy to shrink the residual tumor.  He was also given a drug to reduce intercranial pressure. Kidzcan provided this drug, as well as a shunt - a tube that drains the fluids from the brain to reduce pressure. The shunts available at the hospital are only suitable for adults, so parents must purchase their child’s independently, at the prohibitive cost of $200. It is with the help of our amazing donors that Kidzcan is able to provide this support.

And it is through education that more and more children will find their way to the sole pediatric oncology ward in the country. Education, and instinct, empowered one paster to save the life of Gerard. We hope for Gerard that he will grow up healthy and, one day, tell his 4 year old son about the people who worked together to save his life. 


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