Several months ago Teurai Chanakira shared the 4-part intimate story of her experience throughout her mother’s battle with cancer, including the final days that she shared with her before she passed away on 23 December 2010.
Her family’s painful experience led to Teurai founding the Elizabeth Chanakira Cancer Trust (ECCT), Zimbabwe in May 2011.
The ECCT’s missions are to raise awareness of cancer amongst Zimbabweans, raise awareness of Natural Health & Fitness (including promoting healthy, inexpensive locally-grown produce) and fundraising for disadvantaged cancer sufferers.
Teurai said, ’besides it being the most difficult emotional journey any of my family has ever been through, it was a struggle for us to keep up with the expense of cancer treatment in Zimbabwe. This really got me thinking about how, if we were a middle-income family, poverty-stricken cancer sufferers who may not have any option, managed at all. With cancer now the leading cause of death in Zimbabwe, it is too heartbreaking for me to think that so many die because they have no choices. I was driven to turn my pain into hope for others.’
Whilst the ECCT has focused solely on raising awareness of cancer and Natural Health & Fitness since its inception, it has in the last week, launched its first worldwide fundraising campaign for the benefit of disadvantaged Zimbabwean cancer sufferers – “Sponsor a Zimbabwean Cancer Patient” campaign. See the campaign video below.
The ECCT will sponsor 5 disadvantaged Zimbabwean cancer sufferers, from January 2013 with prescription costs, medical consultation fees and if they have a child or children in primary school – the ECCT will provide part payment of the annual school fees of 1 primary school going child. ECCT’s vision is to be able to continue to gradually increase the number of families it sponsors on a yearly basis.
Applications for cancer sufferers are now open on ECCT’s new website and close on 30 June 2012. Applications can be emailed or sent by post to ECCT’s PO Box. The 5 successful applicants will be chosen by 31 July 2012 and will be known to the public by mid-August 2012.
Teurai is enthusiastic about finding the 5 cancer sufferers that the ECCT will assist. “I am really grateful that we will have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of 5 people. I wish that we could assist more people at this time, but we must work according to our current capabilities. In addition to advertising in online, print and radio media for applicants and donors, the ECCT team will also be going to certain areas to spread our message to those who may require our help, Several fundraising initiatives will also be held in Australia and Zimbabwe”.
Up to 200 countries can donate on the website via SMS, credit/debit card, voice automated phone and other options. Furthermore, residents in the UK, USA and Australia can donate a set amount of USD$5 by texting the word, FIVE, to the relevant numbers on the website.
Teurai added, “I am so grateful and blessed to have the opportunity to be involved in something like this. It is the most fulfilling journey that I have ever embarked on in my whole life. I give glory to God.”
*For full details of the campaign, visit the Elizabeth Chanakira Cancer Trust website.
*ECCT on Twitter: @echanakiratrust
*ECCT on Facebook: Elizabeth Chanakira Cancer Trust
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