Madeleine Children’s Fund (MCF): Brings Hope for Children with Cancer

Mont’Kiara International School (M’KIS) initiated a Madeleine Children’s Fund (MCF) to help provide monetary support for hospitals treating childhood cancer. The fundraising campaign was inaugurated by M’KIS Parent Association and has been organised yearly as the Madeleine Children’s Fund Week at M’KIS to raise awareness and inspire action for childhood cancer prevention and survival. 

MCF was seeded in 1999 in memory of Madeleine Sjonell.  Madeleine was a kindergarten student at M’KIS who bravely fought but eventually succumbed to cancer. Before the memorial service, Eva Sjonell, Madeleine’s mother, conveyed her wish that, instead of flowers, donations be made to help support other children in Malaysia who are fighting their own cancer battles. M’KIS Parent Association continued the fundraising endeavour yearly at the school, even after the Sjonell family had returned to Sweden. 

Dr. Gary Melton, M’KIS Head of School, reflected on this year’s MCF Week. He said, “A heart-wrenching loss and the strong sense of community at M’KIS kick-started MCF over 22 years ago. Our school is grateful to the Parent Association, students, teachers, and staff who support this important cause each year. We honour and remember Madeleine by overcoming grief with service to others. M’KIS students not only strive for academic excellence, but they are also motivated to develop a sense of purpose, nurture kindness, and contribute to making the world a better place.”

The MCF has raised over RM130,000 for hospitals treating childhood cancer, such as Hospital Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (HUKM) and Universiti Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC). The paediatric oncology wards at the hospitals have received support from MCF for medical supplies and financial assistance for patients and parents who cannot afford cancer treatment.

Professor Dr. Hamida Alias, Senior Consultant Paediatric Haemato Oncologist and the Head of Unit at UKM Medical Centre, expressed her gratitude to the M’KIS community for the continuous MCF fundraising effort. She added that it had provided hope to families whose children have been diagnosed with cancer. 

The MCF rollout is an important event at M’KIS and is held during the first week of October every school year. It unites the school’s community, including the students, teachers, parents, and staff, to raise funds and undertake mindful actions for the cause. 

This year’s MCF week was held from 3 to 7 October 2022. The MCF week was launched by Dr. Matthew Boomhower, M’KIS Elementary School Principal, at an assembly with the students and teachers to explain the purpose and activities of MCF. This was followed by a week of activities aimed at helping keep the students healthy and resilient. Donation drives, merchandise sales, and other events were held to help raise funds. The events include fun activities such as a “lap-a-thon” for the older students and a “move-a-thon” for the younger students. These sessions allowed students to participate in physical exercises such as running, jumping, skipping, and dancing while raising funds from those in our community who made monetary pledges to support their exercise efforts.

According to the National Cancer Registry Report, a total of 4,408 cancer cases involving children aged six and below have been reported since 2007 up to now. There are an estimated 200 to 250 new cancer cases reported each year. The most common types of cancer in children are leukemias, brain and other nervous system tumours, lymphomas, bone cancers, soft tissue sarcomas, and kidney, eye, and adrenal gland cancers.

Here's a video summary of Madeleine Children’s Fund (MCF) 2022 on our instagram!