Every year, thousands of children across the globe are diagnosed with cancer, an illness that is life threatening.
Childhood cancer remains the leading cause of death by disease for children under the age of 15. Unfortunately, the causes of paediatric cancer are still largely unknown, and although new discoveries are resulting in new treatments, this heartbreaking disease continues to scar families and communities in ways that may never fully heal. Early diagnosis can save lives. Due to a lack of awareness, among other challenges, only a third of the actual amount of childhood cancer cases in South Africa are diagnosed annually. This means that two thirds of children with cancer in South Africa do not have a fighting chance. In many diagnosed cases, diagnosis happens in too late a stage to offer the patient treatment options, resulting in a high childhood cancer mortality rate.
In developing countries, which include South Africa, the successful treatment rate is an alarming 10-20%. Increased awareness surrounding the early warning signs of childhood cancer, will positively affect this bleak statistic, especially as the potential is there for up to 70% of all childhood cancers to be cured IF diagnosed in time.
Worldwide, September is Childhood cancer Awareness Month. The aim is to educate people on the signs of childhood cancer to aid early detection and to support the children suffering this terrible disease.
The Gold Awareness Ribbon represents the twelve major types of Childhood Cancers.
Sunflower day 2018
There is a hero in all of us
One of the many ways The Sunflower Fund raises funds and awareness is through campaigns like Sunflower Day. Sunflower Day is all about rallying support for individuals diagnosed with life-threatening blood diseases like leukaemia. Over the past 15 years, it has grown beyond the sale of TOPES to an open source campaign through which schools, corporates, supporters and the general public celebrate Sunflower Day and raise funds for The Sunflower Fund. Sunflower Day (21 September) is on the South African Health Awareness Calendar for 2018.
The 2018 campaign aims to draw people out of slacktivism and get them mobilised and engaged around a simple action. Just choosing to do something for someone else and expecting nothing brings out the hero in all of us! The Sunflower Day campaign is about our heroes that choose to take an action: buying a TOPE or registering as blood stem cell donors to give the hope of life to our patients.
Sunflower Day 2017 mobilised the support of nearly 200 000 individuals who bought TOPES as well as 72 schools and more than 20 Corporates through 14 events countrywide and 16 key partners. We recruited 403 donors during the campaign period alone and achieved R63 million in media coverage in addition to trending twice at number 4 and number 6 on Twitter during September.
The campaign is a national integrated marketing and awareness campaign across a number of channels including traditional, online, social media, outdoor advertising, donor drives and events.
TOPES will go on sale first week in August and you can buy your TOPES from Pick n Pay, Zando, and Independent Community Pharmacy Association (ICPA).
What is a TOPE?
An affordable, multipurpose article of clothing retailing at R30, and can be worn as a headband, mask, scarf, cap or arm-band. Being broadly versatile, it may be used in a wide variety of sports or outdoor activities and will be available in six eye-catching colours. The TOPE offers practical functionality for the entire family and also gives wearers the opportunity to show their support for this important cause.
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