What can the royal birth teach parents?
Last week marked the royal birth of the Prince George. Aside from his traditional name (BORING – why couldn’t they call him Wayne?), George has a pretty cool life ahead of him. The world celebrated his birth with parties and baby showers while the proverbial monkey held him high above the edge of the cliff, and we all bowed to the (lion) king. A beautiful experience for all of us, and a heart-warming moment for every mother as she remembered her own child’s birth. George is a symbol of hope for the future, an untainted life that will one day have great influence. George has everything that he needs: a strong mother who loves him, who will fight and protect him from suffering, until he is old enough to do it for himself.
Last week marked Oscar’s 8th birthday in Malawi, Africa. Oscar’s birth was not a national celebration, but his life has become a symbol of hope for many children around the world. Because like Prince George, Oscar was blessed with a strong mother and a grandmother who love him and who did fight to protect him from suffering. When Oscar was six years old, his mother noticed a swelling in his tummy. She took him to the traditional village doctor who told her that it was a disease of the spleen and gave Oscar some herbs to make him better. When Oscar’s condition hadn’t improved, his grandmother took him to the local hospital, where doctors still could not find anything wrong with him. But Oscar’s grandmother was persistent and she kept returning to the hospital until they finally transferred Oscar to the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Malawi, a ‘twinning’ hospital set up by the World Child Cancer charity. It was here that Professor Molyneux and her team diagnosed Oscar with Wilms tumour, a type of kidney cancer. Oscar was put on a 9 week course of treatment involving surgery and chemotherapy and stayed in the hospital for over three months. His family were lucky enough to sell two goats that pay for their travel to and from the hospital. Sadly, this is a fortune not shared by most of their community.
Oscar continues to make good progress and his cancer is in complete remission. Better still, Professor Molyneux was able to develop an effective local treatment protocol for Wilms Tumour, increasing survival rates to 50%.
A prince was born last week, but more importantly a child was given a life to live – a right that every child in the world deserves. Both Oscar and Prince George have the power to change the world. Both have been given the chance to live, and to learn that life is precious. Maybe one day Oscar will help George, or maybe George will help Oscar. The future is unknown. The only thing that we know for certain is that if we do not protect our children, there will be no future. I am a volunteer speaker for World Child Cancer. Many people associate 3rd world countries with children suffering from Aids and TB, which are both relevant and widespread diseases. However not many people are aware of the amount of curable Cancer that unnecessarily kills children in the 3rd world. These children are dying without any pain relief, other than Aspirin. I am here to spread the word. As a mother and as a human being. No child should need to suffer. Can you help? You can start by watching this video.
Thank you for reading.