With September being International Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, Cupcakes of Hope is appealing to everyone across South Africa to help children and families that are affected by childhood cancer by means of the #bakeadifference campaign. One of the key prevention measures in detecting cancer in children is to understand the early warning signs and taking action which then, could potentially save lives.
Hearing the words “your child has cancer” must be one of the most terrifying things a parent can hear. With the help of Prof Jennifer Geel, a paediatric oncologist at Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital and Wits Donald Gordon Medical Centre, Cupcakes of Hopehas put together Childhood Cancer Early Warning Signs;
- Does your child have unexplained, recurring fevers?
- Has your child’s vision changed suddenly? (Blindness, a bulging eyeball, a new squint or a spot in the eye?
- Is your child constantly tired and noticeably pale?
- Is your child losing weight or do they suddenly have a loss of appetite?
- Does your child have excessive bruises, bleeding or rashes?
- Does your child have persistent infections?
- Have you noticed a lump on your child’s head, neck, chest, tummy, groin, limbs, glands or armpits?
- Are your child’s bones, joints, back or legs swollen and painful?
- Does your child frequently have headaches and early morning vomiting?
- Is your child’s head abnormally large?
- Does your child feel nauseated or vomit without nausea?
- Is your child missing their milestones, or have they regressed?
- Has your child’s behavior changed?
- Has your child’s balance or way of walking changed?
- Does your child walk awkwardly or stumble often?
- Has your child sustained a fractured bone with very little force or trauma?
According to Prof Geel, “At least 1 in 600 children get cancer in South Africa and only about a third reach the right place for medical attention, like an oncology unit.” These numbers are concerning and the only way to help improve these figures is to raise awareness about the early warning signs so parents or guardians – who are generally the first people to pick up these worrying signs in children, know what to look for and know how to react. “Cupcakes of Hope has been incredible at helping raise awareness of Childhood Cancer and do a phenomenal job at supporting the parents and families of these children which gives them a much better chance to fight and beat this disease,” Geel says.
Cupcakes of Hope is a Non-Profit and Public Benefit Organisation, dedicated to raising funds to assist not only the financial and emotional needs of the warriors and their families fighting the disease, but also to help drive awareness about early cancer detection in children, through the love of baking – one cupcake at a time.
Unfortunately, due to Covid19 Cupcakes of Hope will not be hosting National Cupcake Day at malls this year, instead, anyone who loves baking can support the cause and can #bakeadifference. Any cupcake recipe can be followed as long as you remember to add the secret ingredient; it has to be baked with LOVE. It’s super easy to join the #bakeadifference initiative:
- Register a fundraiser on the website
- Bake 24 Cupcakes or Cookies
- Get your friends, family or work colleagues to make a R15 donation per Cupcake
- Challenge your friends to do the same
#bakeadifference is, by far, the sweetest way to save a life!