It can be one of the rarest encounters you will ever have; the moment you see your little boy or girl for the first time. As of that moment you will be a parent, and no matter where you live, how much you earn, or who your friends are, you have this little child to take care of. You want to see them smiling, happy, healthy, playing with friends or fighting with their siblings. You will tell them, over and over again, to slow down because they might fall, or warn them when they try to touch the fire. You will protect them as much as you can.

But sometimes parents will get the news that no one wants to hear, the news that their child has a serious disease: that their child has cancer. In that moment their lives are placed on hold; protecting their child is out of their hands. They will get into survival mode; they will do everything they can to help their child, to keep them distracted, to keep them busy. But it won’t be long until they realise how strong their child is. Even during the most difficult treatments they will still see their child laughing and having fun, almost as if there is nothing wrong.

As soon as a child is diagnosed with cancer, he or she will go on a difficult journey, a journey filled with hospitals, medication, needles and scans. Curing cancer is not an easy process,  but nowadays 80% of children diagnosed will survive this disease – but only if they are lucky enough to have access to the right care. There are too many children in this world who don’t get an honest chance to fight cancer. In some low income countries the survival rate of children’s cancer is as low as 10%. Not only are too many parents financially unable to help their child, there is also a lack of knowledge in communities and among healthcare professionals in these countries.

This is why we, the team behind GuildMag, are supporting World Child Cancer. This organization aims to give every child in the world an equal chance to fight cancer. Through partnerships between some of the world’s leading hospitals and childhood cancer units in developing countries, hospitals, doctors and nurses give their time for free to train healthcare professionals where they are needed most.

World Child Cancer also helps individual children and their families financially as well as emotionally through the Direct Programme Support scheme, allowing children with often easily-treatable cancers access to the right healthcare, giving them a fair chance to beat it. But this is not all Direct Programme Support covers. They raise awareness in communities to the truth that childhood cancer is treatable, improving the trust people have in their healthcare systems, as well as educating primary healthcare professionals to recognize and diagnose children with cancer as early as possible.

It doesn’t matter where you live, as a parent you love your child and you want to protect them as much as you can, especially when they are ill. The World Child Cancer organization gives parents in developing countries the same tools to protect their children that you might expect from a modern healthcare system. They are giving children with cancer a chance to fight.

This year we are donating $5 to World Child Cancer for every copy of the GuildMag Annual 2018 that is pre-ordered. We truly believe in this worthy cause, and hope that you do too.

Wilma (Fearan)
Mother of a child with a rare form of cancer