Kidzcan Takes Awareness Campaign to Masvingo
In 2012 ten-year-old Janisha Patel developed Osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer that took her to Charlotte Maxeke Hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa, where she got treated under the watch of CHOC South Africa, a cancer Foundation that took care of the Patels’ lodgings.
Unfortunately, two years later she suffered a relapse that sadly took her life. Despite losing their daughter, the Patels have not stopped helping fellow parents who experience the same ordeal through mobilizing funds and any goodies, an initiative they started in South Africa.
Back home in Masvingo, in the South-Eastern part of Zimbabwe and the biggest city in that Province. Mr. Patel is a well-known philanthropist who was buoyed by the pain he faced when his daughter died, more so, given the predicament of those who continue to face the childhood cancer scourge, in a country that largely does not know about the disease.
It came as a huge relief when seven years ago Kyle Preparatory school approached them so they could commemorate the death of Janisha who was a grade seven pupil at the time when cancer took her life at the age of twelve.
This has gone on year by year, as the school has made it an annual event that not only raises funds but also increases awareness of childhood cancer, and for the first time, they invited KidzCan Zimbabwe to the event.
This year was no different, with the school rallying parents in the community to come and support the childhood cancer cause at a fun-filled colour run, an event that was well attended by the school kids, including parents and those from the Junior School.
“We are humbled by the interest generated by the event as we commemorate the demise of our daughter,” said the couple.
Interestingly the Patels were blessed with two more kids who are currently three and five and they jokingly call them their “grandchildren” because they came late on, in their life and to an extent God’s way of comforting them for the loss of Janisha.
KidzCan Zimbabwe is working towards providing housing for children suffering from cancer and undergoing treatment through a partnership with the Round Table and the Meikles Foundation at the Rainbow Children’s Village (RCV) in Harare.
This will help in the same way the Patels were assisted at CHOC South Africa.
Zimbabwe, like any other middle-income economy, has an estimated 20% childhood cancer survival rate but the intention is to bring it up to 60% by 2030 and now, with the nation chosen as a focus country in the World Health Organisation (WHO) Global Initiative (GICC) to increase the childhood cancer survival rate to 60% by 2030 it amplifies our hope that it is possible.
Childhood Cancer Foundation (CHOC) South Africa, like KidzCan Zimbabwe, is a non-profit making organization that advocates for the well-being of children and teenagers diagnosed with cancer or life-threatening blood disorders and their families.