Dear Friends of Kidzcan,
To end of an incredibly challenging yet rewarding 2014 we want to honour our heroes.
We are witness to them regularly at Kidzcan. On the wards, in the form of a doctor, a nurse, a member of Parirenyatwa staff, a young patient, a caregiver, a volunteer. Off the ward they are people who selflessly share their expertise, contacts, business services and goods, money, time, to give children “the right to the fight” to survive cancer.
What exactly is a hero? Searching online, this particular definition found on www.hero-central.com seemed apt: “A hero: An individual, organization, or entity that is motivated by a shared sense of the public good, who takes responsibility for the life and circumstances of those around them, and whose actions or efforts improve the circumstances of others and defends against hostile forces, regardless of risk to self and without thought of personal gain.”
The children struggling to survive cancer always remain our greatest of heroes, but in addition, this year alone our heroes have included among them:
We are truly grateful to all the heroes who “try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.” (Maya Angelou)
We thank you. Happy Holidays.
Dear Friends, Kidzcan has had an exciting quarter! One of the most exciting happenings is that Media Matrix produced a short film to show case our work. We hope to raise awareness and funding through this film. If you have not yet seen it please click on the following link, watch, like and share with your network: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76fkoZE4yAc
On the funding side Kidzcan was awarded a two year grant from ELMA Philanthropies and we had our first Spring Ball at the Glass house which raised over $30, 000!
In brief here’s where we are at from May –August 2014:
We thank you for your continued support of the work we do in ensuring that children are given the right to the fight to survive cancer.
Bev Sebastian & the Kidzcan Team
The first 5 months of 2014 have been both exciting and challenging for Kidzcan. Not only have we moved offices to 6 Natal Road (the same premises as Island Hospice), we have a new Executive Director. Bev Sebastian has taken over from Kidzcan founder Andrea Whatman. Kidzcan is Andrea’s DNA and she continues to be an important part of the organization as both a board member and a volunteer.
Through your support we continue to ensure Zimbabwean children are given the right to the fight to survive cancer. In brief here’s where we were at on the 23rd May 2014:
√ 263 children assisted and rising! Last year we assisted 465 children in total.
This assistance includes diagnostic tests, laboratory tests, chemotherapy drugs, blood and blood products, transport assistance and psychosocial support.
√ Orange day was a success! We raised over $50,000 in just one day.
√We are planning for the next phase of our early detection programme. The pilot commences June 2014.
Kidzcan relies solely on the generosity of donors and we have over the past few months received much needed support from various sources. These donors include, but are not limited to, Delta Corporation, Econet, Europcar, Jeezum Hobbies, Kikis, Nestle, Nyaradzo, NMB, TM, Strauss Logistics, TEAR Australia, Savanna Pharmaceuticals, Hyundai, Landrover, Central Baptist Church, Damien Whelan and Maeve McAllister, and Northside Community Church.
Despite such generosity, Kidzcan is facing massive financial difficulties resulting from the rising cost of treatment and an increase in the number of children requiring our assistance. With the struggling economy, our local donors are stretched and cannot support our organization as much as they would like to and we desperately need. We are working hard to raise awareness and increase revenue. We will be filming
Kidzcan believes in the right to the fight for survival and we do this by reaching out to assist the most vulnerable in our society. We believe that kids with cancer can survive and there is a future. Thank you for your continued support.
The Kidzcan team
Words from a Father about his son:
He is 3 years old. He was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia in 2012. He had been ill for sometime. He was losing weight and wasting. He deteriorated so fast that my wife and I did not know what was going on. We went to Hospital to seek treatment, and for 3 months they thought the child was suffering from Kwashiorkor (malnutrition). We did not believe that, because we had been feeding him well. Then one day we observed that he was swollen. At the hospital they thought the child had a broken bone. His condition began to get worse, and then we were referred to Mpilo Hospital. At that time he was so thin, he could not talk, eat, play or bend. We were emotionally drained. Even his siblings were no longer happy; they could not play with him. He was spending time with his mother and crying all the time. He was not talking either, so it was really difficult for us to know what was going on. We spent more and more time crying and wondering what was wrong. The whole family was stressed. We didn’t believe the diagnosis of kwashiorkor. When the swelling showed up, we got even more puzzled as we had never seen that before. The thought that he has a broken bone was also not making sense because we had not seen him falling as he was not even playing with anyone except crying and lingering around his mother.
When we were referred to Mpilo Hospital, we did not have the money for transport, consultation fees and accommodation. I left formal employment a year ago due to the child’s illness so l could help my wife who was pregnant then. I rely on piece jobs now. We had to wait for the day the hospital ambulance was going to Bulawayo. We stayed for abouta week before we could go to Mpilo. When we got there, we stayed for two weeks then a doctor referred us to Parirenyatwa Hospital. It was on the 26th of October 2012. But again there was no transport to take us to Harare, so I had to leave the child at Mpilo Hospital with his mother and go back to Tsholotsho to look for money.
On my way back, I was told that the child had been ferried by an ambulance that was going to Harare via Gweru, so I followed. He was first seen in Parirenyatwa on the 28th of October. I did not know anything about Kidzcan at that time. Even when the doctor said we should go to Parirenyatwa, he did not mention anything about Kidzcan.
Kidzcan has been a lifesaver for my child. As you can see him now, he can play, talk and bend. I came with him alone, I don’t need his mother close-by now. He is much better. I can say he is well because he was bedridden when he first set foot here in this ward. I am very grateful for their support. They supported us with scans, transport, food supplies, blood and medicines. This has changed our life.
We come here once a month. The transport money they give us is helpful because it would be difficult for me to raise that every month. Here in Harare, I do not have relatives, so when I arrive, I stay here in the hospital until my boy is seen, then we wait for his medicines which arrives 24 to 36 hours after they book for us.
When I look at everything that Kidzcan has done for my family and I, I am happy. Their help is adequate for now. What can I say? Maybe if they could assist with child’s diet. It is hard to comply with given where I come from. My boy has not been in any pain ever since he started his medications. The most important thing for me now is that he is well and not in pain.
Kidzcan has given life to my son, I am grateful. I hope their support will always be there to save lives of many other children.
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
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