Several dozen people gathered at an Athlone primary school on Saturday to remember children lost to cancer.
The service at the Hazendal Primary School was organised by the Childhood Cancer Foundation South Africa (CHOC).
Helen Davidson, of Hout Bay, lost two daughters and a grandchild to cancer.
“It is not a nice journey to lose children and grandchildren. It is very heartsore. I thank God for giving me the strength to bury my children and grandchild. He repaired my heart and gave me strength to move forward. People who have lost family members to cancer, I urge you to pray, and He will help you,” she said.
CHOC Western Cape regional manager Lynette Mutharay said the children honoured on the day had touched the lives of CHOC staff in many ways.
“They are all of our children. We grow to love and bond with them. The purpose of this service is to celebrate their lives and remember how they impacted us and the beautiful memories we had with them.“
Moulana Mohamad Azeem Khatieb, a counsellor at the Department of Correctional Services, said that when life handed us a bad hand we had to persevere.
“Whatever it is that sparks joy in your life do it as often as possible – small or big. Take comfort that every difficulty better equips us for the future. As we build resilience we become stronger. We must persevere to overcome setbacks. We should be dependent on ourselves for our own happiness. We must adjust our goals and plans to the new environment and time we live in. Let us live our life purposefully.“
Master of ceremonies Karen Petersen said any source of light in your life represented hope for the future.
“When you hang washing on the line, you hang it with a peg and you trust it to hold the washing. So in life we do the same. We put things in place and hope for the best. In life sometimes things don’t balance; we question many things. But we kept on hanging. At times, the wind will come but you need to hang in there.”
She encouraged parents and caregivers to create memory baskets for loved ones diagnosed with cancer.