Posts Tagged ‘CHOC’

R.I.P Cow Star Lisa

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This is not the type of post I enjoy writing at all but this special lady deserves her story to be shared…

I met Lisa Mulley a few years ago. Wow what a presence this woman had. She walked into the room and it automatically got filled with a positive energy. She and her sister Delene became part of the CHOC Cows. Now in order for you to join, you had to be a mad person who is not scared to do anything. At the same time, you raised money for children with cancer either by riding a bike, running or anything else you can do in a cow suit. Yes you heard me, the CHOC Cows do everything in a cow suit and Lisa wore her suit proudly.

I would like to share the first encounter I had with her: The Cows had a Halloween party and my family and I went to help set up. Lisa was sitting on the steps at this country club and was carving pumpkins. She got up, gave us one of her smiles and very welcoming hugs and just started to talk to us. We hit it off instantly and we laughed and decorated all night long. Of course we had a few issues like where to sit the lights and what names to give the pumpkins but we worked it out like all Cows do. The main memory of that night: Lisa looked at my sister Shira and told her that she was like a hula girl. Ever since then, she would call Shira Hula girl.

I watched Lisa and Delene ride off in Cow suits often and I was always happy to see them cross the finish line at the end. They both astonishing people and true inspirations to people that know them.

I am not going to write about the hard times that Lisa faced at the end because I do not believe that is the main object of her life. Lisa was an inspiration to me in more ways than one. She helped me with what dress to wear to my prom, how to do my hair and what lip gloss to use. She also made me realise how important it was to smile at life and be grateful for what and who we have in our lives. Lisa taught me that a little good can go a long way.

I lost touch with the Cows for awhile but my last encounter with Lisa was a few weeks ago. Right before the 94.7 Cycle Challenge. I walked into that room and I could notice her a mile a way. Not only could you hear Lisa, but you could just see her amazing aura shine through the crowd like a golden star surrounded by silver stars.

Lisa will not be forgotten and her lessons in life will live on through the people that love her. My thoughts and prayers go out to her friends and family.
We may have lost a Cow Star but we have gained a Cow Angel

Lots of Love
Ashlee Zlotnick

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Yodata charity hand over

Good evening everyone.

I am so sorry I was unable to post about my day on Friday. It was a very packed day and by the end of it I needed to take a break and process what had happened…

Yodata was very kind to donate a whole bunch of toys to Reach for a dream and CHOC. There is no better way to start your day than to put a smile on a child’s face and to give back to our community.

In honor of Mandela day, I went to help out. I love the feeling I get when I see a child smiling. Those children are my true inspiration. A little girl by the name of Savannah is the reason I am the way I am today…

She was born with a hole in her heart and deaf. 3 months later her parents were told she has cancer and she was not make her first birthday. 10 years later this little girl was in my arms smiling away with her big blue eyes. Ever since I met her 8 years ago, she hooked herself to my heart and has never let go. When I saw her, she ran into my arms and didn’t leave me until she had to leave. As I saw her, I felt a tear roll down my cheek. She is the reason I am so positive and hopeful. I always see the good in everyone and it is because of her.

Yodata did an amazing thing last Friday and I encourage everyone to please follow in their foot steps. It is an amazing feeling to give back and Yodata did more than give back! They provided children with toys and smiles for a very long time.

Have a great week guys and think about this post the next time you complain about not having the newest gadget or biggest house…

Ash

xxx

The day that changed me

I woke up as if it was a normal day but little did I know
that Sunday morning was going to change my life forever. I was soaking up the sun and talking to my mom. All of a sudden I had a sudden urge to help children that was less fortunate than me. I was flabbergasted because I was not sure where that idea came from but I knew that I had to do it. It was in the middle
of my holidays and not many places would be open then but I had to call somewhere and find out a way to help others. I got the phone book and started to look for an organisation that helps children but not children with aids because aids was something everyone does. I wanted to help those children who were less known than the kids with Aids. My mom told me about CHOC. I was a 10 year old child who was calling an organisation that helped children older and younger than me. I picked up the phone, my heart was racing because I did not know what exactly CHOC did but it was “calling” me, and a lady by the name of
Sadie answered the phone. My heart stopped because I was not expecting anyone to pick up the phone and now that someone had, I had to decide if I wanted to commit my life to helping others. “Hello. My name is Ashlee Zlotnick. Honestly I am not sure why I am calling you but I have the sudden need to help out others less fortunate than me.” My first words to Sadie were not very positive but I made an appointment with her to learn about CHOC and how I can help out no matter what.

The next week I met up with Sadie at the CHOC house. I was
sitting on the couch and I was scared to be there because I found out that CHOC is a safe haven for children who have cancer and need a place to stay whilst they are having their treatment done as well as an organisation to fund their very expensive treatments and procedures. One of the children there came up to me and I pulled away from her because I was scared I was going to get cancer just by touching her. I was uneducated about cancer however I knew about Aids. My mom explained to me that cancer is something that is in your body and is not contagious. I felt ashamed of the way I treated that child and embarrassed that
I was so uneducated about this disease. I had yet another epiphany. I needed to not only help these children raise money but I had a need to get to know them on a personal level. I walked into CHOC house as a normal citation and I walked out a volunteer.

CHOC has changed my life tremendously and I
would not have been a part of it if it wasn’t for that Sunday morning epiphany. CHOC has opened up my eyes to a more positive way of looking at life. Because of CHOC, I now look at life through eyes of an optimist and I have the children to thank for that. They have not only given me someone to focus my energy on
but they have also given me a life lesson and that is: there is always light at the end of the tunnel and where there is not light, there is a torch waiting to help me find my way out.

CHOC childhood cancer foundation

 

By: Ashlee Zlotnick

 

CHOC is something I hold close to my heart as it means a lot to me and is a very special place. It was established in 1979 and became a country-wide organization in 2000. It is a home where by children under the age of 18, who is suffering from cancer can go and stay during the duration of their treatment. Not only do the patients stay their but they are accompanied by a family member or guardian. CHOC provides them with a home away from home and provide them with food, transportation and a roof over their heads. This is just a background of CHOC but now I am going to give you a bit more.

I have been volunteering there for about 5 years now and I love every moment of it. The atmosphere alone will give you a life changing experience. Every one in the house with cancer, because of the different ages have a different perspective to what is happening to their life compared to how an adult might look at it. It is a known fact that a child doesn’t judge anyone. They have a positive outlook on life and that is what amazes me every time I see the children or teenager.

I walked into CHOC for the first time not knowing what cancer was or how people got it. As I opened the door then I got a huge fright. Every child had a smile on their face and I didn’t know why. I didn’t understand how they could be smiling when they had a life threatening disease.  I got to know the kids better and I found out that they were smiling because or the exact reason I thought why they shouldn’t be smiling. They were happy to be alive for one more day. When I heard that my life changed forever. We as healthy people complain about every thing. If it moves we complain but not these children. The fact that they woke up and they are breathing is enough to keep them going. Now why can’t we do that? Why do we complain? Yes it is human nature to complain and we are allowed to be upset some days and the kids do to but not for the same reasons we do.

Just the other day I went to the Johannesburg Gen. I met some astonishing people and one person in particular. Her name is Porsche. She is a 15-year-old girl who has cancer. She has had her one leg amputated and yet when I met her she was like a bottle of champagne waiting to explode. She was full of life and she said something to me I will never forget. “I am feeling very happy today because I woke up this morning. I’m happy because I didn’t die!” when she said that I was speechless. Here was a young lady that has every reason to be upset, angry and full of rage and yet she is one of the happiest person I have ever met in my life.

Another example is an outrages, fun, loving person who when you look into your eyes your heart sinks. You melt when you see that little girl running around the grass and playing with her air guitar. Her name is Savannah and she is a 7-year-old girl who has had a very rough 7 years. She was born with a hole in her heart and she is depth. Her parents were told she wouldn’t see her first birthday. When her parents thought it was over they were told she has cancer. This little girl has never heard her mother’s voice properly has to  over come cancer. This little girl is now 7 and she is stronger than ever. She is my true inspiration and I love her with all my heart.

In fact all of these CHOC children are inspirations to me and I hold them close to my heart. There is not one day that goes by that I don’t think about them and pray for them. I am grateful to all the people who help with raising money for their treatments but most importantly I am truly grateful to all the people who spend time with these children. I don’t think anyone really understands what these children want. Due to the fact that they have no hair and some of them might have no limbs, people treat them differently and that is not what they want. They don’t want you to treat them differently to how you will treat children without a disease. They want you to spend time with them and just give them so time.

To all those children who are living with cancer I salute you. You are all very special, unique and strong people and I hope that you will all continue to fight as well as you have so far. You don’t only bring me inspiration but you bring inspiration to every single person who gets to know you well. To those of you who have survived cancer you are an inspiration to those who are living with cancer.

If any of you who want to feel the same way I feel every time I see those kids feel free to contact the CHOC office at (011) 486 1212. Help us in “keeping more than hope alive”.