Editorial comment – Creating awareness for our children

New Zealand High Commission first secretary Christine Conway (with garland) cut the cake with children and their families to mark the launch of the WOWS Kids Fiji monthly appeal at the Tanoa Plaza Hotel. Picture: ATU RASEA

New Zealand High Commission First Secretary Christine Conway made a powerful statement the other day when she said we all have the power to make a difference in the lives of children battling cancer.

She spoke at the launch of the Walk On Walk Strong (WOWS) Kids Fiji childhood cancer awareness month at the Tanoa Plaza Hotel recently.

The event, she said, was a time to shine a light on brave children and their families who were dealing with the killer disease.

We are into child cancer awareness month.

“This month is about raising awareness and we all have a role to play in that,” she said.

“We are all in this canoe together, we rise together and we fall together, so we must work together to ensure that no one is left behind.”

This, she said, could be done by making a donation, raising awareness or educating people about the impact of childhood cancer.

“It is also a time to recognise the bravery of the little ones that are currently dealing with cancer, to remember those that have lost their battle and to ensure that we are well prepared to support those that may need our help in the future.”

WOWS Kids Fiji director Adi Lusiana Tuivanuavou said they were presently supporting 70 children with cancer from around the country.

Forty three children are in the Central, Northern and Eastern Divisions and 27 in the Western Division. Since January, 11 children aged between eight months and 16 years have died.

WOWS Kids Fiji, Adi Lusiana said, was committed to strengthening their childhood cancer advocacy function by widening their community reach throughout Fiji.

In this special month for our children, let’s try to understand and appreciate this sickness, and its impact on them.

Let’s create awareness, and be aware of the impact on their lives, and those of their loved ones tasked to look after them.

Let’s understand symptoms, and get our children early to hospital.

There must be value placed on early detection. We cannot afford complacency. When all is said and done though, we are in this together.

Sometimes we just have to look around us to appreciate life, and to live life to the brim.

Unfortunately, not every child can do that. And there are families living with children suffering from cancer.

They need our reassurance. They need our support, and they need to know there is always light at the end of the tunnel.

So this August, let’s make it a special month for child cancer awareness.

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