Child stars, Abigail Joyce, 7, and Alvan Jeriel, 9, are set to hold a concert to raise awareness about cancer in children. Abigail is a singer while Alvan is a pianist.
Dubbed “Cancer Charity Concert”, it was officially announced on Thursday at a press briefing held at the Uganda Cancer Institute, Mulago hospital. Speaking to media, the young stars revealed that they composed a cancer song to commiserate with cancer patients after they visited them in hospital and saw their pain, and that is how the idea of a charity concert came about.
“We had a friend who was diagnosed with cancer and taken to India for treatment. She recovered fully, and when she returned we came with her to visit cancer patients at Mulago hospital. When we saw the other patients and what they were going through, we were very touched and decided to compose a song titled ‘Cancer’ that we hoped would offer them some comfort”, they explained.
They also revealed that all proceeds from the concert will go towards helping children with cancer at the Uganda Cancer Institute.
Dr Joyce Balagadde Kambugu, the head of Paediatric Oncology Services at Uganda Cancer Institute, appreciated the move, noting that one of the big barriers to fighting cancer in children is lack of awareness among the masses and that such an inititiative is one of the ways to tackle it.
“We are grateful to have these youngsters holding a concert to raise awareness about cancer in children because one of our challenges is late presentation of children with cancer,” she stated. “Our registry estimates that 7,000 children develop cancer every year. And every year UCI receives a rising number of children with cancer.”
“While cancer in children is not preventable, if detected early and well diagnosed it can be cured. 80% of children are expected to get well if diagnosed in time.”
Speaking to the mother of the two kids, she stated that she noticed that they had talent and decided to groom them into musicians.
“I home-school them. Abigail started humming even before she could talk while Alvan would always cry and disrupt the instrunmentalist at church. So, the dad bought him a piano and he his now good at it. I’m so proud of them”, she started.
The “Cancer Charity Concert” is slated for September 2 at the Kampala Serena Hotel. Abigail and Alvan will be joined by other artistes including Levixone and Exodus among others.