All Hands On Dec Friends
Our son, Declan Du Toit, was born with cancer in June 2008. He started chemotherapy when he was just 3 weeks old, had radiation and numerous surgeries to try to beat what we called the "monster", but the monster was just too big and he lost his battle a few days short of his 8 month birthday. We held our baby in our arms as he breathed his final breath and did what no parent should ever have to do - say goodbye to your firstborn. He finally got the healing we had prayed so hard for albeit not on this earth and he is free from illness.
Through the time we spent in hospital with other children fighting their monsters, we came to be very aware of the immense needs and resultant strain this disease places on families. Together with a group of dedicated ladies, All Hands on Dec Friends was set up, in honour of Declan and to fill some of the gaps that exist which other organisations do not cover. Not only does cancer affect the child suffering from it, it also affects siblings as family finances do not always stretch to cover what should be a normal life for them.
All Hands on Dec Friends has as its objective the provision of care and support for children and their immediate families who all suffer during the course of this dread disease in the form of financial assistance towards payment of medical expenses, payment of school fees for siblings, the provision of food vouchers for the family and essential clothing for the children. Emotionally, you are a wreck and we believe you should not have the added stress of the financial strain which can tear apart the foundations of the strongest family and so being able to cover the cost of a particular procedure for the sick child, or keep his or her siblings in school, can be the difference between a family being able to cope or falling apart at the seams. All Hands on Dec Friends helps in small ways to support that family foundation and in so doing, the very fabric of our society. (www.all-hands-on-dec.co.za / www.allhandsondecfriends.org)