Still fighting

Today is International Cancer Day. To celebrate the courage of the brave little patients at Dora Nginza Hospital’s paediatric oncology unit, health writer ESTELLE ELLIS paid a visit to the children who refuse to give up the fight and the staff helping them in their battle. 

THEY know the names of each and every one of the patients who are being treated at Dora Nginza Hospital’s paediatric oncology unit for outpatients during the past year.

This seems a massive feat, yet Dr Johani Vermeulen, Dr Elmarie Matthews and Sister Phuma Mquku also know what illness their little patients are afflicted with and their personality types.

“I don’t know if that one is in the mood to talk today,” Vermeulen says of four-year-old Wayde Sharrock. “He is very shy.”

Vermeulen has it spot on but, after some discussion, Wayde says he will pose for a picture but he is not going to talk and is definitely not letting go of the blue and red ball he is bouncing.

Most of the three healthcare practitioners’ work in fighting childhood cancer from their small clinic and tiny ward is done with the sound of Disney cartoons in the background.

  • As today is International Cancer Day, you can send a message of hope to the doctors, nurses and patients of the paediatric oncology unit by posting on The Herald’s Facebook and other social media pages using the hashtag #StillFighting


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