The CANSA TLC Nicus Lodge is situated on the premises of Tshwane District Hospital in support of Steve Biko and other local hospital’s paediatric oncology units in Pretoria and offers home-from-home accommodation to parents, guardians and care-givers of children undergoing treatment far from their homes.
Parents and guardians may stay free of charge for the duration of their child’s treatment and 50 beds are available for them to use. The lodge is open all year. This is ideal for parents who stay far away from treatment centres or who struggle with transport costs when taking their child for treatment.
The majority of families that make use of the Lodge are from Mpumalanga and neighbouring countries. All are welcome to receive care and support provided. Any parent who needs to come to Pretoria for their child’s treatment at any of the hospitals offering treatment for paediatric or teen oncology, are welcome to make use of the facilities. It is on the premises of Tshwane District hospital, in walking distance of the Steve Biko cancer ward. The distance from Unitas hospital is 13 km; from Pretoria East Hospital 20 km, from Little Company of Mary hospital 7,2 km and from Dr George Mukhari hospital, 31 km away. Parking is available on the premises.
Services Offered at CANSA TLC Nicus Lodge:
- Accommodation to one or both parents and siblings on occasion. We have 50 beds in on-suite family rooms, as well as single, double, triple rooms with communal facilities. Some rooms do have a cot catering for a baby, as many battle with a diagnosed child while having a small sibling who needs support also.
- Live in accommodation for those parents / children who cannot go home between treatments
- Cooked meal and open space for self-help in kitchen
- Monthly food parcels
- Toiletries are provided when needed
- Laundry facilities for all ward patients and parents
- Information group sessions (training re cancer signs & symptoms in children; dietary information and education; pain and symptom control and ‘end of life’ care)
- One on one trauma support / counselling / grief support
- Isolation rooms for immune deprived children
- Prosthetic support
- Arts & crafts activities are also offered to help pass the time constructively
Parents can prepare their own meals in the fully equipped kitchen and donated food is provided for them to prepare. CANSA TLC staff supply linen, and toiletries and clothes when possible.
By offering information sessions once or twice weekly, in addition to individual trauma counselling any time it is required, the staff aim to empower parents. Families can go home with a food parcel to help provide essential nutrition that will help a child to recover while at home. Many families arrive without the needed toiletries, sufficient clothing for a long stay or personal hygiene products.
It is our aim to help with what we can, when we can.
Workshops may be arranged by workplaces, sponsors or volunteers who wish to learn more and to become involved.
Pieter Cowdrey: “I would like to thank the angels of the CANSA TLC Nicus Lodge. You guys stood by me when I thought the world was ending, from the first week we found out about Cole’s sarcoma, right through everything else and up until this morning, I would not have have been here today without you guys. I don’t know the right words, the words you guys deserve. I can only say thank you so much to the ladies at CANSA TLC Nicus Lodge, thank you for saving me.”
Mom of child who passed away: “We had amazing support staying at Nicus Lodge: receiving a wheelchair after multiple amputations; receiving emotional and prayer support; food parcels and so much love. We are family and I feel welcome to visit again and again. Thank you so much. Thank you also for loving my child and supporting him so well.”
Mama Gosiame, Mama Jahn and Mama Hayley say: “Knowing we can bring our small children with, to support our diagnosed children is wonderful. No one else offered us this option of support. It is hard when you have more small children and you need to focus on one, but you have no where to turn with the siblings. When you are a single parent it makes it even more difficult. Thank you Nicus Lodge for allowing us this. There are many others who benefit this way. We say thank you for all of them for the privilege to stay in this beautiful facility.”
CANSA TLC Nicus Lodge was visited by SABC Real Talk with Anele on #MandelaDay 2017
Meet Some of our Parents
For bookings or more information regarding accommodation for parents whose children are receiving treatment for cancer, contact the CANSA TLC Nicus Lodge on 082 073 2850 (during office hours), or alternately direct queries to Vera van Dalen, National TLC Coordinator, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Address: Gate 7, CANSA TLC Nicus Lodge, Steve Biko Hospital, Pretoria / P.O. Box 275, Pretoria, 0001
About CANSA’s TLC Nicus Lodge
Negotiations for CANSA’s TLC Nicus Lodge started in 2001 and agreements were finalised towards the end of 2006. The Gauteng Provincial Government signed a written agreement with CANSA, earmarking the “Gwaranang Building” (at Steve Biko Academic Hospital, Pretoria) as a paediatric oncology lodging facility in the form of CANSA TLC Nicus Lodge.
The facility was initiated and dedicated to the memory of Nicus van Dalen, childhood cancer patient, and son of Vera van Dalen, who sadly passed away, with the aim of helping children diagnosed into the future, and providing accommodation for parents so that they would not be separated from their children, while they received treatment. Van Dalen approached sponsors and raised funds for renovations of the building and became a member of the CANSA family in 2007. A special word of thanks to the following sponsors who contributed: SAAB, Round Table 136, Kerksondermure, TFMC, KPMG, Lions Pretoria Host, Lions Pretoria Suid, Fercor, Manager Construction, Heunis Geute en Woolworths Eldoraigne.
Before & After Renovations
The opening of CANSA’s TLC Nicus Lodge at the Steve Biko Hospital in Pretoria, took place on the 3rd of August 2010. It was the first facility of its kind offering accommodation for the whole family of diagnosed children. CANSA and the Lodge were awarded the 2010 ‘Excellence in Service Delivery Award’ presented by the Steve Biko Academic Hospital. Since it has opened its doors, the facility has offered support 24 / 7 and is open all year round, as cancer does not rest during holidays.
CANSA’s TLC Programme
Learn more about CANSA’s Tough Living with Cancer (TLC) programme…
Parents, families, and guardians can also join our Facebook Support Group: CANSA TLC – Childhood Cancer Support, to connect with others in a similar position.
Says Portia Masango, whose son was diagnosed with cancer: “Today marks exactly one year since my then 5 year old was diagnosed with cancer. I can still see Dr Khoza’s face when she said, ‘I’m afraid I’m gonna have to admit Tshegofatso, I need a CT scan done on him tomorrow, cos I suspect he has cancer.’
We were in Mankweng, a strange place, with no one we know around. The reality of it all never really hit me until we got transfered to Steve biko Academic. Then I got to understand what having a child with cancer means. Chemo, the nausea, loss of appetite, losing weight, being weak, sometimes feeling so helpless, feeling like just screaming. Being anxious, asking yourself: is he going to make it? The hope I had after completing the chemo cycles, only to do the CT scan and learn that the tumor was still there! Yet somehow having the strength to still go on.
Today, a year later, I’m grateful for every thing thus far: being able to attend school without major problems, just the occasional bleeding here and there, his glowing face despite chemo, still being able to play, slowly gaining back the weight, and the support from the CANSA TLC Childhood Cancer Facebook Support Group. It’s much easier when you talk to people who really understand what your talking about!”
Be a Gift to a Child in Need:
Please consider making a donation towards supporting our TLC programme so that we can help more children and families. Donations will assist with the provision of prosthetic support (children who have lost an eye or limb); the provision of wheelchairs; pain control implants and medical equipment. Food, clothing and toiletry donations are always welcome…