Business Relay raises funds for Universitas Hospital Oncology Ward

Prof. Jan du Plessis, Head of the Paediatric Oncology Unit at Universitas Academic Hospital, with one of his patients. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

The Standard Bank Business Relay recently raised funds to provide the Oncology Ward at Universitas Hospital in Bloemfontein with “Kangaroo Chairs”.

These specially designed chairs, costing R7 500 each, aim to make the oncology ward more accessible and comfortable for parents who need to be by their child’s side while battling cancer. Bloemfontein Courant spoke to Prof. Jan du Plessis, Head of the Paediatric Oncology Unit at Universitas Academic Hospital, to gain insights into the importance of this initiative.

Prof. Du Plessis emphasised the multifaceted nature of their work, where they provide comprehensive care for children with cancer and blood disorders. According to him, beyond medical treatment, they focus on emotional support for both the child and their family.

Prof. Du Plessis stressed the significance of the Kangaroo Chairs, which allow parents to be by their child’s side, providing comfort and emotional support. He further said that the Oncology Ward, the only facility of its kind in the Free State, often serves patients from distant areas, necessitating extended stays.

“We are literally the only place, private and state, that is providing this kind of service. The presence of a parent, combined with the comfort of these beds, can significantly impact a child’s well-being and healing process,” he said.

Prof. Du Plessis expressed profound gratitude for the support received from Standard Bank, OFM, and local businesses, highlighting that even small contributions can make a substantial difference.

“To hear of all the support and to see all of that support is absolutely amazing. It is actually amazing how caring everybody is and to hear that caring comes from all sorts of businesses that is now contributing to something as simple as a sleeper couch for a mother next to a child’s bed,” said Prof.

Du Plessis. “We can just say thank you. It’s going to make such a big difference. Any little donation makes a big difference and the contributions are going to last for such a long time,” he added.

Justine Fortuin