Be Brave, Be Bold, Be Kind

Categories: Care and Featured.

Courtesy of The Rocking Horse Project.

Working in Children’s Palliative Care (CPC) is challenging and pulls at one’s heart strings with hugs and sensitivity, but as one journeys through this field, we see opportunities to be a support so the joy in helping children in CPC and their families far outweighs any despondency.

This month (September) we want to commemorate Childhood Cancer and Go Gold and Bold. And yes, children do get cancer! The most prevalent cancers among children in the Kingdom of Eswatini are bone, blood, kidney, lymph node and brain cancer. Childhood cancer is often detected late because parents do not have sufficient awareness of the early warning signs. It is therefore essential that all caregivers (parents, teachers, older family members, community members etc.) be aware of the early signs of possible cancer in children and seek medical attention timely. Teenagers, busy with sports and activities, often do not notice the first symptoms of their cancer, or attribute them to other parts of their lifestyle. The St Siluan Early Warning Signs of childhood cancer are helpful in looking out for certain signs and symptoms to seek medical attention to improve the survival rate of cancer diagnosis.

This year has seen the RHP receive more referrals of children with cancer, and we have sadly also had to walk the final journey of grief with some of these families. All losses are heart-breaking. We want to share the short story of a patient who was diagnosed with cancer, went through some treatment, but was eventually advised by doctors that nothing else could be done and it was now considered end of life. Those words that make parents cringe with despair and grief – ‘Nothing else can be done’. Everything happened so quickly, from diagnosis to this precious child taking their last breathe merely a month after receiving the news. When we first met this child, they showed us true bravery in the midst of so much uncertainty. We chatted to get to know each other better and one thing that stuck with us were their words to encourage their family – they said “be brave”. At such a young age this little one was forced to face this and their encouragement continues to echo to other patients we help and support. I used their words for the title of this piece and say to other children fighting this battle of cancer to “Be Brave”, to all to “Be Bold” in raising awareness to beat this disease and to those helping and supporting the child with cancer, their family and families who have lost a child to cancer to “Be Kind”.

Palliative care makes a difference and when initiated at the time of diagnosis, it assists to build a bond with the child and family and walk this journey whatever the outcome.

MOST CHILDHOOD CANCERS CAN BE CURED! TIMELY DIAGNOSIS AND ACCESS TO TREATMENT FOR CHILDREN WITH CANCER SAVES LIVES! So let us work together to raise awareness on childhood cancer and reduce the mortality and morbidity related to this disease. 

Please find the original article here Be Brave, Be Bold, Be Kind (

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